Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We love Sarah!

Governor Sarah Palin is getting it from all sides these days. It is not surprising that she was smeared by the Democrats and their media lapdogs. That is what those people do. But what I find disgusting is how the McCain campaign tried to blame her for losing the election.

There were the silly accusations about how she bought $150,000 of clothes with campaign money, which turns out to be completely untrue. The reality is that they sent a staffer to buy an assortment of clothes. The staffer bought $70k worth at one store and $50k at another. From that assortment, they picked out the things they wanted to keep, and returned the bulk of the items. Somehow the $120k got rounded up to $150k and the fact that the net cost was much less than either of those numbers was ignored.

More ridiculous than that was the whisper campaign from the McCain staff about Palin walking around her hotel room wrapped in a towel. Seriously? Who cares?? And then suggesting that she didn't know that Africa was a continent and not a country. I don't believe that one for a moment.

And the height of irony was when McCain's staff said that Palin had "gone rogue". I recall that when McCain first announced Palin as his VP selection, he called her "the original maverick" and described her as a strong, independent woman. I suppose that a maverick is someone who doesn't go along with everyone else, while a rogue is someone who doesn't go along with you.

What this amounts to is McCain and his campaign trying to pin the blame for losing to BO onto someone else. Indeed there is reason to believe that something was mishandled, considering that 18 months ago the only states where BO beat McCain in head-to-head polling were Illinois and Hawaii. BO certainly ran a good campaign, and he has charm and charisma to spare. Giving flowery self-promoting speeches is something he excels at. But McCain certainly dropped the ball as well. And if McCain wants to make the case that he lost because Palin is unfit to be VP, then one has to wonder what that says about him. He picked her, after all.
But the premise is bad. Sarah Palin is not why McCain lost. Palin gave the ticket a significant boost, and the Dems had to expend a great deal of money and effort to counter that. In the weeks after announcing Palin, McCain was ahead of BO and trending upwards.
The turning point was the day that Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, a few days after John McCain said "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had already collapsed and AIG was just about to follow suit. Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley were also clearly in trouble, and people began to recognize that there was a systemic problem.
McCain could have set himself apart at this point by opposing the bailout, but he didn't. He could have countered BO's specious claim that the financial meltdown was caused by Bush policies "shredding regulation" by pointing out that government meddling got us into this mess in the first place, but he didn't. He could have made the case that less taxes and a more business-friendly environment would lead back to solid economic growth which benefits everyone, but he didn't. He turned to the government solution just like his socialist opponent.
The mood swung hard against the incumbents, and from that point on it was all downhill. In any other situation he had several winning cards in his hand: energy independence and all the economic benefits of drilling here, Joe the Plumber and a low, fair tax that is not used to redistribute wealth from those who produce it to those who don't, his foreign relations expertise compared to his opponent's undeniable naivety, and his determination to win the War on Terror contrasted to his opponent's eagerness to capitulate. But in mid-September when the sub-prime mortgage house of cards finally collapsed, that one issue trumped everything else, and whoever was in charge at that time was going to be kicked out.
So let's not blame Sarah Palin. Blame the primary voters for picking a flawed candidate, blame John McCain for mishandling the situation, and blame the bad timing of the mortgage crisis.


The Donald said...

Sarah Palin may or may not be the presumptive front runner for 2012, but she certainly did nothing in Campaign '08 to discredit her being part of the process.

I hope that she will get some national experience (Ted Stevens' Senate seat perhaps) in the coming term. If she does that, she'll have MORE experience than "that one" who won the Oval Office.

Also, I agree with you that the notion of Palin "not knowing Africa was a continent" is absurd. I even go so far as to skeptically view whether any McCain "advisor" really made such a statement. Likely as not, it's a complete fabrication. I'm not in the "fourth estate" but have been around enough who are to know that the purpose of news outlets is not to disseminate information accurately, but to provide a vehicle for advertising sales.

Anyway, I believe that Gov. Palin has a golden opportunity to become a leader for the GOP, and hope that she will do so.

The Donald said...

One almost wonders exactly how short the Dems' memories are.

The seeds of their egalitarian goal of extending home ownership to nearly anyone who can draw breath, irrespective of creditworthiness, were sown in 1977's Community Reinvestment Act (signed by Smilin' Jimmy "Mr. Peanut" Carter). Periodically updated ('89, '92, '94, '95, '99), for much of its existence it was not terribly onerous. However, during the Clinton administration, the stage was set for the recent financial market meltdown, through a combination of A)mandated relaxed credit underwriting standards and B)passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which removed the wall that had existed since 1933's Glass-Steagall act, separating commercial banking from investment banking (In the interest of full disclosure, GLB was sponsored by Republican legislators).

With the stage thus set, responsible lenders found themselves at considerable disadvantage if they did not follow the example set by the money center banks.

Anyway, it's now being proposed that more money being injected into the banking system be earmarked for people with damaged credit histories.

How soon they forget...

Matthew 25 said...

I understand you were the original author of "Bar stool economics". Now change the bar to a grocery store and the beer to food. The first four have disabilities and can’t work, which is why they are poor. The windfall savings is quickly spent by each man to improve his lifestyle and they soon forget their earlier lifestyle. Then the store owner starts a war and raises the price of the food by $20 to cover the cost. He eliminates “handouts” and the poor disabled men are now homeless and hungry. The remaining cost is divided evenly between each of the men. The fifth and sixth men each have to pay $2 more but they don’t have $2 to pay. They also become homeless and hungry. The rich man cries about how the economic downturn has cost him so much and he now has to pay $51 for his food. The news is filled with predictions of doom and gloom. Everyone is feeling the pinch and scared of the future. No one believes they have extra money to help others. The poor disabled people die of starvation just around the corner from the grocery store.

And that, unfortunately, is the economics of today.

“...for I was hungry and you gave me food..." Matthew 25:35

The Donald said...

Barstool economics - not to be confused with Barstow economics, a localized condition defined by ready access to OTC allergy medicines, dry cell batteries, and antifreeze. Not unlike Mineral Wells...

Don Dodson said...

Notice that Jesus did not say "For I was hungry and the government started a program to send me monthly checks with no kind of accountability, continuing indefinitely at taxpayer expense."

Charity must be a voluntary gift to mean anything. Government wealth transfer is not what Jesus was talking about.