Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Palin, Angle, Paul, Miller, & O'Donnell - What Do They Say About Us?

 IMAGE: Hebiclens Clown Collage/Mashup BoingBoing

Today's teabags are righteously indignant that the Democrats and bloggers and any journalist not on Fox is being mean. It is outrageous that anyone should expect them to open up their private lives or backgrounds to inspection and question their right to cast slurs and aspersions on their campaign opponents. They are so steadfast in their beliefs (although I have my doubts about that), that they think it is perfectly acceptable to override the will of the majority of the people and impose their narrow-minded, rigid ideologies on everyone else. Refusing to participate in the electoral process other than to demand that we just trust them, I am having a hard time understanding why they have so much support, or wonder if they really do. They refuse to talk to any but a select few in the media, and then only answer previously vetted questions. What do they say about us?

So my question is, why is this acceptable? They all campaign on their history, yet refuse to discuss it. They all campaign on their values, but refuse to share them unless you are an upper- or middle-class white person with a job, in which case they don't need to. Sarcasm, slurs, and put downs raise chuckles and they all think they're pretty cute, but only succeed in making this country look foolish, and even more so if they are actually elected.

Sarah Palin, when asked a perfectly reasonable (and common) question about where she gets her information immediately takes offense and sees it as an attempt to make her look like an uneducated hick (please refer to my earlier writings on projection). She attacks Michelle Obama for something said over two years ago, and misrepresents it at that.

Sarah Palin also complained a few days before the 2008 election that the media were attacking her and that they were violating her 1st Amendment rights, which were there to protect her from the media.

Sharon Angle says she will talk only to media who will ask her the questions that allow her to give out only the information she wants to give out and who will allow her to ask for contributions.

She also said, while speaking to a high school Latino club, that they didn't all look Hispanic, that some looked Asian.

IMAGE: Crooks & Liars

Rand Paul said he wasn't sure he would debate against someone who attacked his religion, and attacked his opponent for bringing up something that happened 30 years ago (although you will note, he did not deny the event). Interesting though that when Clinton came to campaign in Kentucky, Paul was comfortable bringing up Monica Lewinsky, something with great relevance to this election, especially as it happened so recently.

Joe Miller says he will no longer answer questions about his past or his personal life. [Although he did just admit to committing ethics violations.]

Each day brings up new information reaffirming the idea that Miller is about as ethical as other nationally prominent Alaska politicians. Today, a close examination of his (many, many months late) campaign disclosure forms show that he paid himself rent on office space that he owned (legal) that was up to four times what it was actually worth and paid himself a salary that was less than $10,000 (something that the IRS frowns on). Why is that a problem? He pays income tax on all income, but payroll tax only on salary. Pretty tricky accounting.

In a debate with Chris Coons, Christine O'Donnell appears shocked that the separation of church and state is a part of the 1st Amendment. Trying to walk back her gaffe, she and other GOPher apologists claim that she was correct because the exact wording "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution and that it was Coons who appeared ignorant because he could not name the five freedoms listed in the 1st Amendment as if that were the point of the exchange.


Sarah Palin recycles slurs and attacks from the 2008 campaign and complains about what she perceives as insults to her from that campaign in every speech and interview that she gives. If anyone has done anything recently to offend her, apparently her rage at President Obama's nerve at winning the election overrides that fact. It's too bad that it wasn't Todd Palin interested in politics as I believe that Sarah Palin would far prefer being First Lady than President. She has demonstrated an inability to actually perform work, a lack of intellectual curiosity (favored reading material OK Magazine? Favorite television show Bridezilla?), and rather than try to learn and understand complex issues facing our nation today, she becomes defensive when asked questions for which she has no answer. Her continued reference to having a "title" rather than holding an office suggest a fascination with her beauty pageant days that holds more interest than it probably should.

Sarah Palin gets (to her) ideas from one-note entertainers on Fox News, believing they hold great insight into governance, and disparages education, believing that ignorance is suggestive of "real" people regardless of the complexities involved in being a leader. To suggest that being on the city council and the mayor of a town of approximately 5,000 (and doing so badly), and then serving for one year on Alaska's Oil & Gas Commission (does anyone have any record of what she actually accomplished in that capacity? Meeting minutes maybe?), and two failed political campaigns as commensurate with serving three terms in the State Senate and then the United States Senate is on par with something a high school student might say prior to taking their required US Civ class.

Sharon Angle is a comical figure and I am amazed that she is in such a close race. Nevada reporter John Ralston said yesterday that her position in the race has nothing to do with her, but the state's displeasure with Harry Reid. Hopefully they'll wake up soon to what an Angle win will really mean. She claims God as her guide, yet displays herself as a mean, bitter woman willing to lie to get her own way. She is somehow of the opinion that hers is the only opinion that matters - a common failing of teabags and Republicans everywhere. A majority of the country decided that they didn't like the policies of the Republicans so voted them out. The willingness of the GOPhers to lie, manipulate, and ignore the needs of their constituents has created an environment that allowed a small minority to shout so loudly that the national media, also responding to their corporate masters, manipulate the news to suggest that most of the country is dissatisfied with the direction of the new administration.

Rand Paul has the thinnest skin I have seen on a politician and I thought no one could top Sarah Palin. After his debate with Conway, he sounded like the little boy crying that he was going to take his ball and go home because someone was mean to him. That's what politics is. It's dirty and it's nasty. The people decide how much they're willing to put up with and politicians ignore them at their peril, although with a newly activist Supreme Court determined to legislate from the bench, we now have a government that will be determined by whomever has the most money and therefore the loudest voice. To say that politicians such as Paul feel comfortable saying some of the outrageous things that he does is truly remarkable yet bizarre that he can't take any of the heat.

Probably the most ludicrous figure of this election season is Christine O'Donnell. Each time I think I can't hear anything worse, I hear something worse. It's not just the bizarre statements, but her lack of self-awareness to understand how she is being perceived. During the debate with Coons in which she demonstrated her lack of understanding of the Constitution, she thought the audience was laughing with her, at Coons (they weren't). Every time I hear her, she seems a step off and I wonder that her followers don't see it (of course, why they can't see the other teabags either I can't fathom). Today in Michelle Malkin's blog (no, I won't link), she claims that it is Coons who does not understand the Constitution.

While debating at a law school, O'Donnell went on and on about her superior knowledge of the Constitution, yet when asked by the moderator about the 14th, 16th, and 17th Amendments, she had to ask what each of them was about because she didn't have her copy of the Constitution with her. First of all, one principal planks of the teabag movement is the Constitution and she is appearing at a law school. O'Donnell has, repeatedly, claimed her superior knowledge of application of the Constitution. Wouldn't you think that she would bone up on the three amendments that are at the core of the teabag movement or at least bring her copy of the Constitution with her? Or write it on her hand? 14th (immigration), 16th (income tax), 17th (senate). Easy, should fit on anyone's hand.

Forgetting, as they all do, that there is video all over the web, O'Donnell and her cohorts have tried to re-write the event. What they've done, is taken everything out of context, something they claim as a tactic of the left. Replying to a discussion of schools teaching creationism and intelligent design, Coons stated that it was a violation of the separation of church and state. O'Donnell replied that he just demonstrated his ignorance of the Constitution if he thought that it said that local school boards could not decide to teach anything they wanted to teach, and he then brought up the 1st Amendment. Within the context of the discussion, the exact phrasing and whether or not it appears in the document is a moot point. The whole debate was in a similar vein, with O'Donnell displaying her ignorance as she also displayed her rudeness talking over Coons attempts to answer not only the moderator's questions, but hers.

I haven't had much time to blog every day, but between now and the election I am going to try to write about each of the major components of the campaign. I know many teabags, and this election, am no longer able to remain silent when I hear people repeating outrageous claims that are easily disproved. People who are unwilling to listen to facts and insist on holding on to their beliefs because they like the person who says them or because the individual belongs to the correct religion or party is dangerous to this country and I for one, am not keeping quiet regardless of the personal consequences.

The fact that these, and other teabag races, are so close says as much about us as it does about them. A few years ago, these people would have gotten no traction. The media would have been all over the inconsistencies and when caught in the lies, these people would have been forced to drop out of their respective races. Many, if not all of them, probably do not believe half of what they say, but simply want either the attention, the adulation, or the money that they know they will receive once they reach national political office, and then retire. Doesn't say much about us does it?

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

1 comment:

  1. It is indeed a shame when people seem to be celebrating stupid. The more gaffes, misstatements and downright idiotic a candidate or "party leader" such as Paylin, sounds, the more it seems they are followed by the unthinking. I would say they are like lemmings being led off a cliff, but I think it is really more of a buffalo jump. I recall learning in my school days how (before being introduced to guns) Native Americans would drive buffalo off a cliff to kill them for their meat and hides. That is what these tea partiers remind me of. We have people like Paylin, Rove, the Koch brothers and other very wealthy right wingers driving the minions off the cliff and they are too blinded to see that they will be the ones to ultimately suffer for it. (Before anyone says I'm dissing Native Americans, let me assure you I'm not. I admire the inventiveness of people solving a problem.) You know the drivers aren't going off the cliff- they know where the edge is. But they don't care about those they are pushing toward that precipice. People think the economy is bad now- they have no idea how bad it can get if more republicans get elected. But those making the most noise or putting their money behind the "movement" won't be hurt. They are financially secure (read wealthy) and they will be able to sit back with their millions while the rest fall around them. Such a pity they can't see. More the pity that many of us will go down with them.