What Would a “Crusade” Under Sarah Palin Be Like? Chris Nelson Weighs In

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Chris Nelson writes one of the best daily insider political reports in Washington, call The Nelson Report. Don’t ask me for it — it’s impossible to get on the web or other ways unless you are a major client or subscriber.
But I have permission to share Nelson’s latest on Palin and the important question of how she views religion and God in her policy decision-making calculus:

The Nelson Report — September 11, 2008
Now, on Palin’s coming interview…there’s always a chance that ABC’s Charles Gibson will have the backbone to be as tough on her as he was on Clinton and Obama, in that infamous primary debate…you remember the one where questions about the American Flag pin were given equal time to policy?
If you will further indulge your Editor for a moment, here’s the gist of how we answered the question about faith, public policy and experience, from our Japanese host at lunch yesterday. We suspect that they are on the minds of policy makers throughout Asia and the world, given the shot-in-the-arm Palin has given the McCain Campaign.
Palin’s views may well be “just a heart-beat away” from setting the agenda as “leader of the free world”.
First, on religion, we don’t worry about her particular doctrinal beliefs, necessarily, although we’d like to hear about the Rapture, speaking in tongues as proof of God’s favor, and the like, these things being beyond our personal ken.
What the public has a right to know is to what political use, if any, Palin’s beliefs may be put.
That is a legitimate question for Palin, more than most politicians, because she says she bases her personal and political philosophy on her Christian faith, and is on record saying she seeks divine guidance…and receives it…on public policy matters.
So there can be no such thing as “privacy” when it comes to exploring the nexus between her personal faith and her public performance…because that’s apparently not a distinction she makes.
With respect, we argued that history shows all too clearly that leaders who think they are operating with a direct line to God’s policy recommendations have a track record written in blood. Unchallenged, they represent a huge risk to their own country and to others.
Of course we are NOT saying it’s unsafe to pray for Divine Guidance…but speaking personally, we’d be a hell of a lot happier if one kept it to asking for the strength and wisdom to make the right decision.
Abraham Lincoln’s model comes to mind, should you seek Republican guidance.
It’s asking God for the details that strikes us as dangerous, likely delusional, and from the religious point of view, quite possibly blasphemous.
The reason is simple: if you think you are in direct communication with God on matters of public policy, then anything which pops into your head, ipso facto, you may consider to be the Word of God.
If you are sensible (and we are lucky) you may not, of course…that’s where “judgment” comes in…but that’s also where the “experience” factor can become critical.
If the question under prayerful contemplation is something on which you have little or no personal experience weighing, arguing, and listening to competing points of view, then how can you parse the difference between divine inspiration and nonsense?
Picture George Bush listening to Condi Rice on many occasions, to see what we mean.
If you’ve never thought much about it before, if you’ve not been listening…for years…to permutations and combinations of the historical and policy factors involved, then with all due respect, your “judgment”, on your very best day, is likely just a guess.
Now factor-in personality: if you cleave toward an authoritarian style, how do you treat competing judgments, and arguments? If you are operating on a direct line to God, and you think you have received God’s wisdom, how do you respond to those who disagree?
Are they fellow citizens with a constitutionally protected point of view…or sinners requiring punishment? Listening to McCain and Palin talk about “Washington elites” you have to think their definition of “sinner” is elastic beyond the heavenly norm….but that may be special pleading, please Lord forgive us.
It just seems to us, we argued to the JCAW audience, that from what we’ve seen and heard so far, Palin is asking the American people to take too much on faith, when a politician tells us that he or she operates on the basis of it.
Anyhow, perhaps she will answer truthfully and thoughtfully…if our faith in Charles Gibson as a real journalist is rewarded tonight. Part 2 of the ABC TV interview will be aired Friday night.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

35 comments on “What Would a “Crusade” Under Sarah Palin Be Like? Chris Nelson Weighs In

  1. Cristian says:

    Has anyone ever wondered how many people end up in detox because of drug abuse… The medical system is heading in the wrong direction and I simply can’t understand why our political leaders have no interest investing in the health of their citizens, excuse me, tax paying citizens.

    Reply

  2. questions says:

    A lawsuit filed by the state attorney general Wednesday has the potential to slow down voting lines in what promises to be a staggering turnout for the Nov. 4 election, local voting officials said.
    “It will disenfranchise voters. That’s what we’re concerned about,” City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said.
    Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, filed the lawsuit Monday in Dane County Circuit Court to get ineligible voters off the rolls. It calls for a court order mandating the Government Accountability Board to cross-check voters who have registered since Jan. 1, 2006, when federal Help America Vote Act legislation required that states implement a voter database to cross-check voter registrations with Department of Transportation, criminal and death records.
    ……
    In a written response, Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said the board is committed to preventing voter fraud, but Van Hollen’s demands are too much, too soon.
    “The board believes it would be counter-productive to rush this effort and to create a significant risk, at best of unnecessary hardship and confusion at the polls, and at worst the disenfranchisement of Wisconsin citizens with a clear and legitimate right to vote,” he said.
    If a judge rules in Van Hollen’s favor, Witzel-Behl said city staffers would have to check 3,612 voters who registered by mail since the beginning of 2006. They have already processed 1,256 registrations that have been filed since the statewide database went online last month and have sent 100 letters to voters whose information didn’t match and got 37 responses. The discrepancies typically come from names that are written differently on voter registration forms than on driver’s licenses or driver’s license numbers that are wrong or illegible.
    “A lot of it is us trying to decipher their penmanship,” she said.
    Witzel-Behl said if Van Hollen’s lawsuit prevails, the city will have to send letter to voters whose registrations are questioned, which the GAB has found to be more than 20 percent. The voters will have to clear up the discrepancies, and then the city has to run the information through another check.
    http://www.madison.com/tct/news/304606

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    Pay attention to voter caging — according to AirAmerica, the McCain campaign has sent thousands of FAULTY absentee ballot applications to dems across the country — you apply for your absentee ballot, the application is unacceptable, you never get to vote. YIKES!
    Sometimes the address is wrong, sometimes there’s an extra box on the form. Not good.

    Reply

  4. WigWag says:

    And Linda, I understand that it’s completely academic, but let me ask you two questions:
    1) In your opinion if Hillary had been nominated instead of Obama would she be doing better or worse in the polls right now?
    2) If Obama had selected Hillary Clinton as his Vice Presidential choice would he be doing better or worse than he is in the polls right now?

    Reply

  5. WigWag says:

    “This election campaign is only in the third quarter, and it’s only the final score that counts.”
    Linda, as much as I don’t like Obama, I hope you are right and I am wrong. But I just don’t think so. This is resembling the Bush v Kerry election more and more. Kerry was ahead before the conventions and Bush pulled into a small lead that he never relinquished after the conventions.
    I think Obama needs a momentum changer. I don’t know what it is, but he needs one. And I hate to say it, but the debates are going to work against Obama/Biden. The expectations will be so low for McCain and Palin that they will easily exceed them to their benefit. Right now, nothing is going right for Obama/Biden. They need to do something dramatic.
    Oh, and Linda, I knew Michael Jordan. He was a friend of mine. Mr. Obama, you’re no Michael Jordan.

    Reply

  6. Tahoe Editor says:

    Jonathan Alter, who asks voters to wonder whether Palin should be seeking office with a Down syndrome baby at home.
    He’s sounding desperate. InTrade Market Odds have favored Obama for months, but now they’ve swung solidly to McCain, as has the RCP average AND his likability ratings.
    The moment Obama passed Hillary in the delegate count at half time, everyone was screaming to shut down the game, and I was saying, no no, it’s not over, did the Patriots ask for the Super Bowl trophy at half time? I feel for Alter in his desperation now.

    Reply

  7. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    I know you won’t spare us the daily tracking polls.
    Did you happen to hear Jonathan Alter on Charlie
    Rose last night? He made an interesting point. Most liberals sound like Chicago Cubs fans. Obama has long been a Chicago Bulls fan with Michael Jordan as his hero. Jordan, like Kobe Bryant, is a shooting guard. They are cool guys who like to come from behind and win in the 4th quarter.
    This election campaign is only in the third quarter, and it’s only the final score that counts.

    Reply

  8. WigWag says:

    New Polls (from Five Thiry Eight):
    Florida Quinnipiac-McCain +7
    Florida Insider Advantage-McCain+8
    Ohio Quinnipiac-Obama +5
    Ohio Strategic Visions-McCain +4
    Ohio Insider Advantage-McCain +1
    Ohio University of Cincinnati-Mccain +4
    Pennsylvania Quinnipiac-Obama +3
    Whoever wins two of these three states is almost certainly elected as the next President.

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    “How will busting the Super Mom myth help stave off nuclear
    war? Because Palin / Rove/ McCain are winning the battle for
    public opinion by exploiting that myth, even among
    independents. Independent votes, along with getting the
    Christian Fundamentalists out to the polls, will decide the
    election.
    If the Christian fundamentalists find out that far from being an
    amazing mother, Sarah Palin has really screwed-up, and her
    kids are drug addicts and sleep around, well, maybe McCain
    won’t win the election.”
    Exactly. But we also need a popular and credible religious leader
    to say that her religious beliefs are extreme and dangerous.

    Reply

  10. questions says:

    McC on the View — Whoopi worries about slavery, Hassleback asks about Roe v Wade (McC says “bad decision”), Barbara W. asks “reform what? The republicans?
    I wish that they could bite back better than they do, but I’ll take what there is….
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/12/mccain-grilled-on-the-vie_n_125972.html
    Give Peas a Chance, I hope the myth-busting works.

    Reply

  11. Give Peas A Chance says:

    I worked in gossip before it became an international obsession
    that pushed real news off of the airwaves, and now the internet.
    We now have a bread & circuses media, and we all need to
    realize that our fellow Americans are most probably watching
    TMZ and not reading any kind of credible news source.
    I repeat: while the National Enquirer might pay for interviews,
    but given the massive costs that it’s incurred from past lawsuits,
    it has to be accurate.
    The Enquirer has stood-up to the McCain campaign threatening
    it with legal action over the Enquirer’s (developing) report that
    Sarah Palin had an affair with Todd Palin’s business partner.
    Wouldn’t that make one think that the National Enquirer is fairly
    certain that the information it has is correct?
    A gossip columnist must have a finger on the zeitgeist. This is
    my take from going to the most liberal websites to the most
    conservative: many people across the U.S. are buying into the
    myth that Sarah Palin is Super Mom.
    That myth has very obviously been propagated and exploited by
    the McCain/ Rove campaign.
    How will busting the Super Mom myth help stave off nuclear
    war? Because Palin / Rove/ McCain are winning the battle for
    public opinion by exploiting that myth, even among
    independents. Independent votes, along with getting the
    Christian Fundamentalists out to the polls, will decide the
    election.
    If the Christian fundamentalists find out that far from being an
    amazing mother, Sarah Palin has really screwed-up, and her
    kids are drug addicts and sleep around, well, maybe McCain
    won’t win the election. Then maybe we won’t have to worry that
    a McCain/ Palin ticket, especially if McCain loses his cancer
    battle, will attack the Russian bear and provoke that mushroom
    cloud over an American city.
    I didn’t chose gossip, I was forced into it. After that I worked
    overseas as a journalist. But gossip taught me a lot, which is
    how stupid people can be, and how much smart people can
    underestimate the power of stupidity. Haven’t the last eight
    years, with Britney topping the headlines while we launch
    endless wars, taught the Democrats ANYTHING? Obviously not.

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    So if we document the myriad failings of Sarah Palin and her way of being in the world, does that strengthen her hand or weaken it? The answer to this question is crucial. Bush II was an alcoholic, hit bottom, came up and was beloved by 47% of the country. McC crashed a bunch of planes, caused a fire on a ship (I think), committed something like treason (spilled the beans for medical care), and is beloved by many as a POW/war hero. So along comes Palin, screwy family, nil on the international scene, doesn’t balance work and family but rather sends kids away, gives talk in Texas while leaking amniotic fluid (not balance, that’s work winning over possibly resented late baby)…. Does she gain more lovin’, or do the failings become too many…..
    How many hockey moms read Nat’l Enq???

    Reply

  13. Linda says:

    Sorry for the long, hard-to-read paragraphs from Wiki. This is a repeat with my editing it into more readable bits:
    Knickerbocker Holiday is a Broadway musical written by Kurt Weill (music) and Maxwell Anderson (book and lyrics); it was directed by Joshua Logan. It opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on October 19, 1938 and closed on March 11, 1939 after 168 performances. The original production starred Walter Huston, Jeanne Madden, and Ray Middleton.
    Among the songs introduced in the show was the “September Song”, now considered a pop standard.
    Knickerbocker Holiday is both a romantic comedy and a thinly veiled allegory equating the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (whose ancestor is one of the characters on the corrupt town council) with fascism. As is apparent from the preface he wrote for the play, as well as the play and the songs themselves, Maxwell Anderson was a pacifist and an individualist anarchist. He saw the New Deal as another example of the corporatism and concentration of political power which had given rise to Nazism and Stalinism.
    His animus toward the state is more soberly revealed in one of his two tragedies about the Sacco and Vanzetti execution, Winterset. This play, coincidentally, starred Burgess Meredith, the same actor who was originally to star in Knickerbocker Holiday (Burgess, a friend of Weill’s, who was to play the romantic young lead Brom Broek, left when he saw the villainous Stuyvessant character growing into a more a more lovable and important role, upstaging him).
    The setting of the musical is New Amsterdam. It is narrated by Washington Irving, who wrote the source material for the musical, Father Knickerbocker’s Stories. It begins shortly before the arrival of the new Governor, Peter Stuyvessant (played by Walter Huston in the Broadway show). Broek, an American individualist, cannot take orders. If ever anyone gives him an order, he assaults them. This has made it difficult to court his beloved, Tina Tienhoven, the daughter of the head of the town council.
    Stuyvessant arrives just in time to rescue Broek from a hanging engineered by his beloved’s father, in order to get the impoverished ne’er do well to make way for the wealthy and powerful Stuyvessant himself as a suitor for the fair Tina. Naturally Broek is grateful: until Stuyvessant quickly asserts what is for all intents and purposes a fascist dictatorship.

    Reply

  14. Linda says:

    TE and Steve are fighting it out on the mushroom cloud thread while Give Peas A Chance above is the comment to read.
    I always believed that MSM and both Democrats and Republicans going up to Alaska to vet Palin would come up empty handed. However, Track and Bristol both have lots of teenage friends who gladly talk to “National Enquirer” for the cost of a new SUV.
    So the Saga of Sarah is far from over. We just might hear McCain singing “September Song.”
    Anyhow this time I don’t link because knowing a little musical comedy history (from Wikipedia) right now is fun:
    Knickerbocker Holiday is a Broadway musical written by Kurt Weill (music) and Maxwell Anderson (book and lyrics); it was directed by Joshua Logan. It opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on October 19, 1938 and closed on March 11, 1939 after 168 performances. The original production starred Walter Huston, Jeanne Madden, and Ray Middleton. Among the songs introduced in the show was the “September Song”, now considered a pop standard. Knickerbocker Holiday is both a romantic comedy and a thinly veiled allegory equating the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (whose ancestor is one of the characters on the corrupt town council) with fascism. As is apparent from the preface he wrote for the play, as well as the play and the songs themselves, Maxwell Anderson was a pacifist and an individualist anarchist. He saw the New Deal as another example of the corporatism and concentration of political power which had given rise to Nazism and Stalinism. His animus toward the state is more soberly revealed in one of his two tragedies about the Sacco and Vanzetti execution, Winterset. This play, coincidentally, starred Burgess Meredith, the same actor who was originally to star in Knickerbocker Holiday (Burgess, a friend of Weill’s, who was to play the romantic young lead Brom Broek, left when he saw the villainous Stuyvessant character growing into a more a more lovable and important role, upstaging him). The setting of the musical is New Amsterdam. It is narrated by Washington Irving, who wrote the source material for the musical, Father Knickerbocker’s Stories. It begins shortly before the arrival of the new Governor, Peter Stuyvessant (played by Walter Huston in the Broadway show). Broek, an American individualist, cannot take orders. If ever anyone gives him an order, he assaults them. This has made it difficult to court his beloved, Tina Tienhoven, the daughter of the head of the town council.
    Stuyvessant arrives just in time to rescue Broek from a hanging engineered by his beloved’s father, in order to get the impoverished ne’er do well to make way for the wealthy and powerful Stuyvessant himself as a suitor for the fair Tina. Naturally Broek is grateful: until Stuyvessant quickly asserts what is for all intents and purposes a fascist dictatorship.

    Reply

  15. Give Peas A Chance says:

    There’s tons of stuff about Palin’s family in the National
    Enquirer. We shouldn’t care except that she is running as Super
    Mom on her “family values” credentials.
    In the interest of full disclosure, I worked in celebrity gossip for
    an internationally distributed newspaper, so I know the innards
    of the gossip world.
    The National Enquirer is usually accurate, because they’ve faced
    massively expensive lawsuits in the past. John Edwards, a top
    trial lawyer, would have sued them starting last year if the
    Enquirer’s stories about his mistress hadn’t been accurate.
    The Enquirer destroyed Edward’s immediate political future, but,
    now that the Enquirer has dirt on Palin, it’s gone back to its
    status as a “rag”?
    See, the Democrats will never win until they study the tactics of
    the master, Karl Rove himself. And I can already hear poster on
    TWN saying that a candidate’s family should be off-limits.
    Yet Rove won the 2000 election (well, if you believe that Bush
    won) by spreading rumors about McCain’s “illegitimate black
    child”
    Here’s some stuff that the Enquirer has dug-up on the Palin
    family. The former reporter in me has confirmed some of it with
    Alaskan journalists.
    Again, I could give a shi-ite IF Sarah Palin were not running as
    the epitome of motherhood, and if she herself hadn’t dragged
    her family into the spotlight.
    But for all those hockey/ soccer/ security moms out there who
    are buying Palin’s BS, I think that it is important to know what’s
    really going on with her family, AGAIN ONLY BECAUSE SHE
    HERSELF IS USING IT AS A MAJOR PLATFORM ISSUE.
    And for Palin to fly knowing that she was leaking amniotic fluid
    and in addition was carrying a special needs baby — well, there
    are no words to describe how reckless that was.
    PALIN FAMILY SHOCKERS: WHAT SARAH’S REALLY HIDING!
    The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively that Sarah’s oldest son,
    Track, was addicted to the power drug OxyContin for nearly the
    past two years, snorting it, eating it, smoking it and even
    injecting it. And as Track, 19, heads to Iraq as part of the U.S.
    armed forces, Sarah and her husband Todd were powerless to
    stop his wild antics, detailed in the new issue of The ENQUIRER,
    which goes on sale today.
    THE ENQUIRER also has exclusive details about Track’s use of
    other drugs, including cocaine, and his involvement in a
    notorious local vandalism incident.
    WHOLE ARTICLE
    http://tinyurl.com/68mag3
    SARAH PALIN AT WAR WITH HER DAUGHTER ABOUT PREGNANCY
    AND WEDDING
    Palin planned for the wedding to take place right after the
    Republican National Convention and then she was going to
    announce the pregnancy.
    But Bristol, 17, refused to go along with the plan and that
    sparked a mother-daughter showdown over the failed coverup.
    The ultra-conservative governor’s announcement about her
    daughter’s pregnancy came hours after The ENQUIRER informed
    her representatives and family members of Levi Johnston, the
    father of Bristol’s child, that we were aware of the pregnancy
    and were going to break the news.
    WHOLE ARTICLE
    http://tinyurl.com/5ahcd5

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    What “we” (the “progressive” blogosphere) say, doesn`t matter
    much, i think. And there is of course no reason to trust the
    media.
    Regarding the other options, I`m pessimistic. Attacks from the
    pro-Obama democrats will strengthen her. The same will
    attacks from experienced “realists” residing in Washington DC.
    All this will confirm that the establishment is the establishment
    and the liberal left is evil.
    However, if a newspaper or TV journalist discovers a Palin
    scandal, then sensation and greed may win over politics, even in
    right wing media.
    Secondly: Some “moderate” version of Billy Graham, a popular
    and trusted conservative Christian explaining how horrible her
    church is – that may become decisive.
    Give me a curious and greedy journalist looking for scandals, or
    some crazy pastor realizing that Palin`s pastor actually is more
    insane than himself. Then something may happen.

    Reply

  17. JamesL says:

    Palin, the 2008 GOP model Quayle.

    Reply

  18. Give Peas A Chance says:

    Sarah Palin and Rape kit- gate, from Salon.com. Send this to every
    woman, and every caring man, that you know. This’ll take Palin
    down if people knew:
    http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/2008/09/10/palin_rape/i
    ndex.html

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Second, I love how the left is eating themselves alive over Sarah Palin… she’s everything that they want a woman to be… but she is bad for women because she doesn’t agree with them, she loves her family, and didn’t abort her last child. That is DANGEROUS to the left. Self-made women are a bad thing… unless they agree with you, or you with them”
    People that are as fuckin’ stupid as you are should not be allowed anywhere near a ballot box.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I predict these subpoenas will be quashed. There is tremendous GOP pressure being brought to bear to impede and block the investigation into Troopergate, and the behind the scenes deals being cast between Washington and Alaska’s legislature are probably being worked out as we speak. And why not? These cowardly mewling pieces of shit that represent the left have allowed the right to ignore the rule of law for eight years now, hy should the criminal garbage in Alaska be held to a higher standard?
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/alaska_leg_holds_session_today_1.php
    Alaska Leg. Holds Session Today, Considers Voting on Subpoenas in Trooper-Gate
    By Kate Klonick – September 12, 2008, 9:22AM
    The Alaska state legislature is meeting this morning in Anchorage to discuss the possiblity of issuing subpoena’s in the investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin.
    The move comes after the seven witnesses called to give depositions to the independent investigator Stephen Branchflower, suddenly cancelled their testimony.
    Yesterday, senior assistant Attorney General Michael Barnhill wrote a seven-page letter to the legislature stating that “the eyes of the nation have now turned upon us,” and that his office would move to quash the subpoenas if they were issued at the hearing today.
    The meeting begins at 9 AM AKDT, or 1PM EST. We’ll be listening by teleconference, so be sure to check back later.

    Reply

  21. Steve B says:

    It seems to me America has lost its historical perspective for one… bloated on sound bites driven by a few in the media who pull the strings.
    Second, I love how the left is eating themselves alive over Sarah Palin… she’s everything that they want a woman to be… but she is bad for women because she doesn’t agree with them, she loves her family, and didn’t abort her last child. That is DANGEROUS to the left. Self-made women are a bad thing… unless they agree with you, or you with them.
    Interesting double standard as always.

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It will be interesting to see the kind of shallow rah-rah horseshit that will be used to defend Sarah Pablum’s performance. Tahoe will give us a sampling, I’m sure. But the true exhibition of bullshit and bluster will play out today on the RW spin machine’s radio shows, emailings, and Fox News natterings.And there is a whole army of slack jawed jackasses in the audience, who will obediently venture forth to Wal-Mart to spread the gospel as told by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
    Yesterday, having lunch with the highly successful and quite wealthy custom home builder I do the finish work for, I asked him what he thought of Sarah Palin. He said, I quote, “I think she’s a breath of fresh air”. Further conversation revealed he knew NOTHING about her except what our media has told him. Moosehunter, doting mother, successful governer who has “taken on” government corruption and big oil, unjustly slandered by the left. All the talking points were there, sans all the under the covers baggage the blogosphere discusses daily.
    So, after you read what she ACTUALLY said, listen in today as the RW scumbags like Hannity and Limbaugh tell you what she MEANT to say, as if that is what she really said. Then, tomorrow, tune in as your neighbor Jimmy Jumpin Jackass repeats Hannity’s words as Sarah Pablum’s words. And so the fiction is written, and a rock star is created out of thin air.

    Reply

  23. Paul Norheim says:

    All these pro et contra Sarah Palin arguments going on and on
    in America…
    In normal times, in a more stable world, it may have been
    stimulating to read and watch this kind of stuff. In our world,
    anno 2008, these pedantic arguments are exactly as surreal as
    the phenomenon: Vice Presidential candidate Palin.
    Experienced or not-so-experienced?
    More experienced than Barack Obama, or less?
    Less inside-the-beltway than Biden?
    Legislative or executive experience?
    Woman or man?
    White woman or African-American man?
    Community organizer in Chicago, versus Mayor of Wallisa?
    As isolated facts, these discussions and distinctions are
    ridiculous, abstract, harmless, trivial. Issues for policy wonks
    and bloggers lacking any perspectives and sense of danger.
    Sarah Palin is a unique, concrete, and fatal combination of
    certain unfortunate, bad, as well as horrible characteristics (and
    also a handful of good ones), and you can`t treat them
    separately – as if this was a question of, say, the relative
    experience of Palin versus Obama, or Woman Sarah against
    Woman Hillary.
    There is no distinction between the hockey mom and the
    governor of Alaska, the lipstick and the apocalyptic faith. Sarah
    Palin is all of this, and she`s the first to admit the connection
    between all these elements.
    Sarah Palin is more multi-talented than Condoleeza Rice, more
    dangerously aggressive than Dick Cheney, more charming and
    attractive than John Bolton, more optimistic than Richard Perle
    and Paul Wolfowitz, and less experienced than George Bush
    when he was elected. Her religious beliefs are much more
    apocalyptic than Bush`s beliefs, and she is more ignorant and
    exactly as self confident as him, and you can trust her in the
    same way you could trust Douglas Feith.
    The currently most dangerous places on earth?
    1) Pakistan – if the militant fanatics succeed in a coup d`etat
    and get access to the nuclear code.
    2) The USA – if the voters are so dumb, and the media so blind,
    that they allow Sarah Palin to climb to the top, a heartbeat from
    the nuclear code.
    I`ve said it before, but let me repeat: Many Christian churches
    disagree strongly with the church she belongs to. Someone
    should interview some highly respected “moderate” Evangelical
    Christian leaders, and push them to criticize and warn against
    her theology, her extremism. This will make headlines. Then,
    perhaps, some of the decisive voters may hesitate to vote for
    her.

    Reply

  24. Give Peas A Chance says:

    Palin has attended really scary fundamentalist churches her
    entire life. Democracy Now had two experts on religion talking
    about the churches she attended. You can probably find the
    interview at their site http://www.democracynow.org — I think it was
    in the last week or so.
    I don’t think that Gibson is a tough questioner — he let JOHN
    McCain get away with the BS that Palin has experience because
    Alaska is close to Russia. I did think that Gibson asked a few,
    slightly-tougher-than-utterly softball questions of Palin, but his
    follow-up was almost consistently pathetic.
    The bottom line is that it’s the media’s abject failure to tell the
    truth, first about Bush, and now about Palin and McCain, that
    even gives the latter a chance at two of the most powerful
    positions on Earth.
    Far from being a “maverick” McCain is a lying, mean, impulsive
    nutcase who traded medical care for information BEFORE he was
    tortured (if he ever was) as a POW.
    McCain, IN HIS OWN WORDS, in a 1973 U.S. News & World
    Report article, that HE WROTE HIMSELF, admitting collaborating
    with the North Vietnamese in exchange for medical care four
    days after being shot down.
    (PLEASE PASS THIS LINK AROUND, INCLUDING TO ALL YOUR
    MCCAIN/PALIN LOVING FRIENDS)
    http://tinyurl.com/5m8tqwl
    Palin has obviously perfected the art of using her feminine wiles
    to get what she wants. I’ve heard Alaskan journalists say the
    same thing about Palin — ask a tough question and she gets all
    silly and flirty, effectively deflecting it.
    Imagine if all those independent out there knew that Palin
    supported rape victims having to pay for their own rape kits???
    This in the state, Alaska, with the highest rate of rape out of all
    50!
    The mainstream media will have a lot to answer for when the
    history of the demise of the U.S. is written. That is, if there’s
    anyone left on Earth to write it.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    Mention a name or theme — Brett Favre, the Patriots under Belichick, Lance Armstrong’s comeback, Venus and Serena — and anyone who cares about sports can have a very sophisticated discussion about the ins and outs and myth and realities and arguments and rebuttals.
    People who don’t like sports can’t do that. It’s not so much that they can’t identify the names — they’ve heard of Armstrong — but they’ve never bothered to follow the flow of debate. I like sports — and politics and tech and other topics — so I like joining these debates. On a wide range of other topics — fashion, antique furniture, (gasp) the world of restaurants and fine dining, or (gasp^2) opera — I have not been interested enough to learn anything I can add to the discussion. So I embarrass myself if I have to express a view.
    What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the “Bush Doctrine” exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.
    http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/the_palin_interview.php

    Reply

  26. Steve B says:

    This is complete and utter nonsense and pure speculation on Nelson’s part… First he says its ok to pray for guidance by wisdom, but then makes a comment later that seeking guidance, or more to the point answers, may be “delusional.” These statements are typical of people with little or no faith at all, or an agenda of their own.
    Reagan prayed often on matters of state and this country prospered regardless of how much those that hated him want to revise history otherwise. As far as historical perspective that leaders who relied on faith are recorded in blood, a closer examination of those leaders will find that they generally wrapped themselves in the notion of faith as a means to further their own agenda, not that of God. The whole premise of this article is to sew doubt and fear in people’s minds about those that hold faith as a guiding factor of their lives. On the other hand, those that have no faith, but an agenda of their own choosing as a guide, you should fear more.
    If people are saying this of Palin, ‘…we should be wary’, then your alternative is far, far worse. Obama has NO experience, is all lofty rhetoric with no indication of what he will specifically do, and has no track record whatsoever to indicate his abilities. In addition, as the article had put “What the public has a right to know is to what political use, if any, Palin’s beliefs may be put.” This question SHOULD be asked of Obama as well, given the 20 year track record with a “church” that preached inflammatory, hate-filled, racist rhetoric wrapped in the cloak of Christianity… which in itself fits the description Nelson portrayed of those “whose track records are written in blood” to what end will THIS be used as a guide by Obama in his policy decisions?
    As far as whether she is ready or not, being a governor for only a few years… you might want to read your American history which apparently most people are abyssmal failures in this department… Theodore Roosevelt, was a relative unknown when he became Governor of New York in 1898, he became VP to McKinley in 1900, and after a year in this slot, ascended to POTUS when McKinley was assassinated. TR was one heluva president and met some tough challenges in his time. Historically speaking, Sarah Palin is in Stellar company.
    The media, as well as the democrats, are quick to point out how she was a mayor of only 9000, but forget she was governor of a state that is 1/3 the size of the continental US, has resources that rival the middle-east and others in terms of its wealth, and has had to negotiate with the Russians for fishing rights and permits, as well as with the neighboring provinces of Canada for the new natural gas pipeline. Her faith in God is a compass that points to what we know brings peace and wisdom, as well as moral judgement. To those that would discredit this for the sake of an agenda, probably already know that what they support is diametrically opposed to this morality, and thus would be considered evil. Secular or not, a duck is still a duck.
    I’m curious if Nelson would put the questions he posed in this piece to Obama as well? Or would that be a double standard?

    Reply

  27. bob h says:

    Gibson was just fine last night. One problem is that threatening talk about war with Russia will be catnip to the End Times wackos who are most fervent about her. But I doubt many moderates will be impressed.

    Reply

  28. questions says:

    Anderson Cooper: Bay, ABC News just did a fact check. They looked back the last 30 years, all Vice Presidents have met a foreign leader. Does that matter?
    Bay Buchanan: No, it doesn’t at all. Her answer was excellent. It will make Americans feel that much closer to her. She’s very real. Sure, she hasn’t traveled overseas to meet these foreign leaders. But that’s not what American’s are looking for. She’s absolutely correct. They want somebody that they can relate to. Who’s hearing them. They’re sick and tired of those people in Washington who may know lots of facts and figures and meet lots of people…
    Zimmerman: It’s always a danger when we have leaders who know facts and figures, Bay. That really does get in the way of setting up policy…
    http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/second-time-as-farce-how-palin-is.html

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    You will notice that in the send off that Gov Palin gave the Alaska national guard before recent Iraq deployment (the same one in which she linked Iraq and 911), she ended the farewell with a blessing, almost literally, using the word “Lord”. That’s close to crossing the line into strictly Christian territory, at least as its used in the US.
    Where I come from, Palin’s brand of religion — many formative years in the Pentacostal — are way out of the mainstream. These roots go deep and linger long in the psyche. Folks usually either excape/reject them, or remain under their essential belief. Oh how far we have come.
    Here’s the link, but its 7 minutes not worth the listening.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/09/11/palin-iraq-911/

    Reply

  30. jhm says:

    While talk of Gov. Palin’s “faith” scares me, her need to rely on the
    same advisors that Hon. Sen. McCain chooses to surround himself
    with scares me even more. Senator McCain has exhibited no
    inclination to resist these advisors’ bellicose tilt, but I would
    hazard a guess that most Americans believe that he has the
    wherewithall to do so. Does anyone seriously believe that Ms.
    Palin would, if the need arose?

    Reply

  31. jan says:

    IMO God has apparently told Sarah that she is a perfect evangelical reincarnation of Julia Roberts.

    Reply

  32. Linda says:

    Kudos to Chris Nelson who wrote this before the interview was broadcast.
    Do note how good Palin’s coaches are because she now is quoting Lincoln’s on God’s side on war.
    Palin has been woefully misunderestimated as she is more likable, down-to-earth, human, maternal, etc. than Condi Rice and shares her ability to “answer” tough questions in sound bites. She doesn’t speak in tongues that no one but God can understand she speaks in sound bites.
    So my song of Sarah is a very old Kurt Weill one,
    “September Song”
    “September Song” works well for Sarah:
    When you meet with the young girls early in the Spring
    You court them in song and rhyme
    They answer with words and a clover ring
    But if you could examine the goods they bring
    They have little to offer but the songs they sing
    And the plentiful waste of time of day
    A plentiful waste of time
    Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December
    But the days grow short when you reach September
    When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
    One hasn’t got time for the waiting game
    Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
    September, November
    And these few precious days I’ll spend with you
    These precious days I’ll spend with you

    Reply

  33. steve says:

    Her scripters must be subscribers too, since she used Lincoln’s speech as an excuse/interpretation. Of course the only problem is that her actual statements on the role of god and religion and the divine have nothing tgo do with what Lincoln said. They have been the opposite. Which would make her, oh, what’s the word.. a LIAR, LIAR, LIAR.

    Reply

  34. DonS says:

    “style over substance‘ . . .”
    So right. I’ve been working as a psychotherapist for almost 30 years. Sitting across from all manner of people, reading their faces, their body language, their, demeanor, their presentation, their projection, their substance.
    Sarah Pallin is shallow. All actresses. Cutesy little quirks and winks and twitches. She covers and recovers from her lack of knowledge and understanding pretty quickly, as in the Gibson interview where, far from showing (or revealing) sheer ignorance of what Gibson was referring to in the Bush Doctrine, she treaded water a bit until he attempted to rescue her.
    Then she launched into some tangential, but not salient response. I believe John Q Public would not know the difference and would continue to be infatuated by Sarah; and the public might well be angry if they though Gibson was trying to ’trap’ poor little Sarah, even on such a basic question. But it will take the media to point out how far out of her depth she is. They will not point out how deceptive she is, and cunning. And she is too slick for the public, at this point, to get it on their own.
    But then, would I have expected a candidate for the Vice Presidency of the United States to ask Gibson straight out, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean by the ‘Bush Doctrine’ “? Clever Sarah says “In what aspect”? A seemingly appropriate response, but one covering up that she has no clue about the real meaning.
    So Gibson, in the toughest interpretation, goes for something even a tiny bit obscure (and he himself doesn’t explain it quite right). Maybe the nuanced obscurity was intentional, maybe not. She failed, then bated back some inane generality, complete with the winks and twitches, and the paeans to democracy, blah, blah (along with gratuitous threat to get in a hot war with Russia). Still no clue for John Q Public to grasp.
    It’s a shame that it is important to destroy the credibility of this individual. But it is. Very important. Her vacuity leaves too much room for dangerous manipulation.

    Reply

  35. Helena says:

    She looks like such a sweet package but beware….
    With McCain’s age and past health issues, this woman (unbelievably, if the GOP pulls this off) could step up to assume one of the most powerful positions on the planet.
    That’s what star power, style over substance, attractive looks and being at the right place at the right time can give you.
    Could America really vote for this person?
    At least with the ticket of Obama/Biden, you have policies, ideas, passion, and experience that will counter the setbacks of this previous administration, the one that has lost the respect of every thinking person on the planet.
    Sadly, I don’t think the opinions of most other people of this world would matter too much to the electorate in the States that will decide this election.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7606100.stm
    But clearly if America wants to regain its stature as a world leader, it ought to seriously question this McCain/Palin ticket with a woman (more power to women, just not this woman who hasn’t yet proven herself…isn’t there a better woman/person out there)…and whose record is appalling…..Palin = appalling…..this ticket that will just continue the setbacks of the present administration.

    Reply

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