Bulletin from Wasilla
Here in Wasilla, the small Alaskan town where until two years ago Sarah Palin was mayor, her speech officially to accept the Republican Party's Vice Presidential nomination was greeted with tears and disbelief. Crowded into Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill on Parks Highway, her friends and most ardent of supporters, many of them wearing 'Go Sarah!' T-shirts and badges that read 'The Hottest Governor of the Coldest State' watched the entire performance at full volume on flatscreen televisions, alternatively cheering, whooping, clapping, dabbing at their eyes, and, finally, giving her a standing ovation. Around them, hockey memorabilia hung from the walls - a reminder of Palin's 'hockey mom' background.
Still wearing his blue Postal Service uniform after a long shift, David Parcha, 47, told The Times: "I've seen this coming for four years, man. When she was inaugurated as governor of Alaska, I told my teenage sons, 'go to the ceremony, this is going to be historic.'" He admitted, however, that he was gobsmacked at the speed of her ascent to the race for the White House and impressed with the confidence of her speech. Half way through it, after Palin had witheringly referred to Barack Obama's authorship of two memoirs, Mr Parcha grinned and said, "Not bad, eh?[John] McCain needed her real bad. I wasn't even gonna vote for McCain until he picked Palin. Before that, conservatives didn't have a voice."
Others were similarly impressed. Overheard comments included: "I was on the fence and now I'm blazing the McCain trail" (a middle-aged woman) and "I wasn't excited until this, now I'm all fired up" (a grey-haired man). Meanwhile, at a table directly underneath one of the TVs, Lu Sackett, 70, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the image of a grizzly bear and a floppy hat decorated with flag pins waved his burger in appreciation when Palin laid into the Democrats' tax plans. "She's like a moose going after a cabbage," he marvelled.
A woman at Mr Sackett's table pointed out that Mrs Palin knows how to 'field dress' a moose (which means skinning it and chopping it up after killing it, so that you can take the meat home to make stew). "All Alaskan women know how to field strip a moose," said Mr Sackett, nodding. "Besides, she ain't attackin' anyone," he added. "She's just tellin' it how it is."
The bar roared with approval when Track Palin, 19, who recently enlisted in the US Army and will soon to be deployed to Iraq,appeared on camera. "Look!" someone shouted from the crowd. "Track can't believe he's on TV!" More hilarity ensued when Piper Palin, 7, appeared to spit on her hand and use it to smooth down the hair of Trig, her baby brother. They cheered again for the appearance of Palin's husband, Todd, otherwise known as the 'First Dude'. With Palin's every line of argument, someone shouted "Good Point!", "Yeah!", or "Ser-rah! Ser-ah! Ser-rah!" ...
Speaking to The Times before the speech, Ms Clark... expressed support for Palin. "I'm very glad she's governor of the state of Alaska, you couldn't find a more apt individual," she said. "In this country, Alaska, they don't care if you're a man or a woman, they care about your word, your reputation. She'd make a fine vice president."
Conservatism Isn't the Culprit
Thousands of Republican politicians, activists and partisans are now lining up behind John McCain and preparing to advance into the fall campaign. If they hope to win, many pundits maintain, their task is obvious: Ditch conservatism, which is intellectually bankrupt.
That might make sense if you equate the Republican Party with conservatism. The governing style that culminated in the GOP's defeat in 2006, however, shows that Republicans have suffered largely because they haven't been conservative enough. In his unsuccessful bid to become minority leader in the House, Rep. Mike Pence stated the problem plainly. "We are in the wilderness because we walked away from the limited government principles that minted the Republican Congress," he warned his colleagues. "The American people did not quit on the Contract with America, we did."
He's right. While in control of Congress, Republicans could have led the nation toward market-based reforms in Medicare, a program that threatens to overwhelm the federal budget in coming years. Instead, they made the problem worse: They passed a Medicare drug benefit that will leave our grandchildren saddled with trillions of dollars in liabilities. Republicans could have advanced their professed commitment to limited government and fiscal responsibility. Instead, they more than doubled the size of the federal government, hiding their pork in the plain brown wrappers of anonymous earmarks.
Imagining that they could continue to govern by pretending to be conservatives, Republicans have repeatedly betrayed - and finally lost - the trust of their most loyal supporters. The way to win in 2008 is to earn that trust back, since the American people remain committed to conservative ideas....
Liberalism is a bankrupt philosophy that has been tried and found wanting in one major policy issue after another, from national defense to social welfare, from education to the national economic policy. That's why candidates run away from liberal ideas when it's time for a general election. Republicans must run toward conservative policies if they want the tides of history to sweep them back into power.
Susan Estrich (Clintonista) defends Sarah Palin: "Should a mother with five children, one of them a pregnant teen and another an infant with special needs, be running for vice president? The question is being much debated, in newspaper stories and columns, on blogs and Web sites, and, yes, around kitchen tables across the country. No would be asking these questions if she were a man. No one asked whether Arnold Schwarzenegger should run for governor because he has four children. They looked at Maria, his wonderful wife, and said, what a beautiful family. A mother doesn't get the same treatment. This is how the double standard works.... If she thinks she can do it, if her husband and children support the decision, as they seem to, who are we to say otherwise? She deserves what every father running for office automatically gets: a chance to be judged fairly, based on experience and ideology, qualifications and competence, not our second-hand judgments of her most private decisions."
CNN wisdom: "Gathering after the speeches last night by Lieberman and Thompson, the CNN "political team" gathered to tell viewers what was wrong with what they said. No surprises there, except perhaps when Campbell Brown professed herself to be "surprised by the political nature" of the Bushes' speeches. Imagine that! Political speeches at a political convention!
Hollywood Leftism: "Why do so many Hollywood stars turn into Marx-huggers when it comes to politics? Some believe it's embedded in their DNA. Entertainers are professional emoters. People who emote for a living tend to see the whole world through their emotions. Cry for the camera; cry for "social justice." Moan for the microphone; moan for "equality of outcome." Mug for an audience; mug for "welfare rights." Others contend that they all live in Airheadsville"
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)