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Reactions from the left
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some reaction to Palin's speech from the left. Here's Michael Crowley at TNR's "The Stump":
Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing—few if any would ever vote for McCain—but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.

I completely misjudged how negative she would be. Her lines about Obama were brutally cutting and possibly over the top in places. But she's a far better messenger than an angry white man. (Note, by the way, how both Rudy and Huckabee employed a tone that was more bemused than angry. That's the modern GOP's favorite trick—comedic ridicule in place of outright nastiness.)
I think the term "misjudged" is going to be used a lot in the coming weeks and not just about "how negative" she was.

John Judis, also of TNR's The Stump said:
I thought that section of her speech combined her biography with her political appeal and turned it into a criticism of the Democrats and Obama’s indifference to the white working class and small town voter. I was less impressed with the rest of the speech. Her recitation of her own accomplishments—and her critique of Obama’s proposals—was less effective and less effectively delivered, but it was good enough not to raise questions about her suitability as vice president.
So Judis, just like Biden, seems to have no questions about her suitability to be VP. Apparently they are beginning to understand that the "inexperienced meme" is a loser and all it does is draw attention to the inexperience at the top of their ticket (not to mention they had no problem whatsoever with a vastly less experienced John Edwards as their VP nominee in '04).

Ari Melbor at the Nation's "The Notion" blog tied himself in knots trying to turn the speech into a negative. He began by saying:
Sarah Palin gave a riveting and devastating nomination speech on Wednesday night. She shared her inspiring story and brave family, while savaging and ridiculing the celebrated life story of Barack Obama, a fellow barrier-breaking candidate, with whithering attacks on his work as a community organizer, senator, and author.
And ended with:
By all accounts, Palin faced a huge task in St Paul. She had to prove she was up to the job of commander in chief.

She struck out big-time — in a biting speech that showed the only job she was ready for is RNC Chair, another ruthless soldier in Karl Rove's army.
Yes, he had nowhere to go with his lede so he ended up resorting to liberal boilerplate and calling it analysis.

Ezra Klein was fairly impressed:
It was an auspicious debut, the sort of address that would be judged a success if she were a newcomer keynoting the convention. She landed clean punches, temporarily silenced some of her critics, and retold John McCain's story with a keen sense for the drama of his experience. But I expected more. As delivered, the speech was effective as theater but curiously hollow as an enduring campaign argument: It contained the seeds of a medal ceremony for McCain, and marked Palin as a politician to watch, but it said nothing about the presidency she hopes to be part of.
But of course it did, you just had to pay attention. For instance, I don't think she minced words at all about what their energy policy would entail. Everything. And the quicker the better. I think the reform message was fairly strong as well. For a guy who has let "hope" and "change" remain the "specifics" of the Obama campaign, this demand for specifics in a convention speech is rather amusing.

And then there's this:
"I was mayor of my hometown," she said. "And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

Good line. But no responsibilities followed.
Pretty weak. Gee, Ezra, you think that perhaps anyone who lives in a town with a mayor might have a clue what responsibilities a mayor might have? I certainly didn't need her to spell them out for me. What, instead, I'd like someone to do is tell me what the hell a "community organizer" does and why that provides the necessary experience to be president of the US.

The rest of Klein's piece essentially claims she chose applause lines over substance. Apparently Klein missed the Democratic convention last week.

Another who apparently missed the Democrats at work last week was Mcswain of "Comments from Left Field"
It’s late and I finally saw Palin’s speech via TIVO. It was the most mean-spirited, hateful and divisive speech I have ever witnessed in American politics. It was packed throughout with lies and deceptive omissions.

It was clear that she feels she has the right to define America and that her definition includes no place for progressives like myself. Sure, she coded her smears as against “community activists” and “San Francisco,” but we all knew she was smearing all progressives, liberals, Democrats, etc. I truly believe she hates people like me and does not consider us American.

The speech was George Bush on steroids. It was in the long tradition of Atwater and Rove. It had the Rove acolytes fingerprints all over it. It was pure wedge politics with the hope that in dividing America she tore off just a big enough chunk to narrowly win this election. It’s desperation. It’s their only shot.

Overall, it was simply shameful.
Apropos of the blog's name, not much needs to be said about those remarks.

All-in-all, as to be expected, partisan analysis of a partisan speech. I thought she did well. I thought she did what she needed to do - i.e. introduce herself, fulfill her role as the ticket's "attack baracuda", and calm the nerves of those lily-livered Republicans who didn't think she was up for to the job. Mission accomplished.

But as some of the detractors note, she is going to have to get into specifics in these last two months and describe policies and ideas in much more detail to demonstrate she has a handle on them.

It is interesting, however, to watch the left, not the right, suddenly attempt to make this a race between the Palin and Obama. That, of course, is a mistake. It demonstrates a certain level of fear, if not outright panic over the selection. But it seems they can't help themselves. And the commenters and pundits can't either - Palin is fresh meat. Biden is pork jerky. Obviously they're going to concentrate on the new vs. the old.

As I've said many times, this is the most interesting election in my lifetime. And Sarah Palin introduction to the nation last night makes that even more true than before. She seems more than up to the task of the campaign and, frankly, may be the breath of fresh air the stale Washington DC crowd needs more than promises of "hopey-changitude".
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
There were some, I think, that hailed this speech as the second coming of Reagan. I really don’t see it. Yes, she’s a fine communicator, with a good attitude, carriage and message, and she’ll be able to pull off a good debate against Biden, which is her main job over the next two months. All of that said, though, it’s clear that she is a pragmatist, as is McCain, rather than a theorist., as was Reagan. That’s not too surprising: it’s not really a job for theorists. I think she’ll make a good VP candidate, and a good VP, and it’s possible she would make a good President at some point in the future.

The Democrats, though, are making a real mistake taking her on so much. Had they graciously noted her selection, then gone right back to attacking McCain (pretty much ignoring Palin), she would not have nearly the force that they’ve granted her. The media, other than critical and un-ignorable events like her speech last night, would have simply let her wither from lack of coverage. By focusing so much attention on Palin, the Democrats and media (but I repeat myself) are amplifying her symbology and her message, are granting her power.

And since I want Obama to lose, good.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Did anyone brave the sewers at Kos or DU to find bits of awfulness? Usually Ace or Allah do that, haven’t seen too much of that. Maybe it’s too stinky dog-poo to link or re-print (stinker than usual anyway).

For that matter, where is Erb and his expert analysis (i.e. Obama memes/talking points)?
 
Written By: Question Mark
URL: http://
There were some, I think, that hailed this speech as the second coming of Reagan. I really don’t see it.
Palin isn’t Reagan, she’s Reagan’s message embodied.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
think the term "misjudged" is going to be used a lot in the coming weeks and not just about "how negative" she was.
I’m not sure, Bruce.
Yes, perhaps some have misjudged her.
But on the hard left, the over-the-top reactions to her even being named, suggests they knew they were in seriously deep doo-doo at the off. They knew full well, on an instinctive level the kind of person they were up against. It’s the only way to explain the fear reaction we have been seeing, I think.
The Democrats, though, are making a real mistake taking her on so much. Had they graciously noted her selection, then gone right back to attacking McCain (pretty much ignoring Palin), she would not have nearly the force that they’ve granted her. The media, other than critical and un-ignorable events like her speech last night, would have simply let her wither from lack of coverage. By focusing so much attention on Palin, the Democrats and media (but I repeat myself) are amplifying her symbology and her message, are granting her power.
For all of the issues I have with Dick Morris, it seems to me his (rather offbeat) comparison to the battle of Kursk, pre-speech, is right on the money.

Quick overview... (Knowing full well that some of the military types will blow away my memories of the thing, I’ll attempt this) On the Russian front nearing the end of WWII, German forces had an attack plan, using armored divisions. They stromed ahead toward their objective while the Russian Army seemingly retreated before them. The Germans went so far and so fast that they’d gone beyond the end of their supply lines. Once that happened, the Russians sprang their trap, enclosing the German troops to the rear, surrounding them, and isolating them from any hope of getting supplies to continue the fight, or even survive in the cold.

Translation to this event; When she was named and until last night, the Democrat’s bloody minded howling when Palin got nominated gained them a whole lot of ground in a hurry, but they’ve over extended themselves. They made her into at least a sympathetic character Last night, Palin showed us that the nonsense being fed by the left about Palin was most certainly untrue, and they’ve been exposed.

The relative silence this morning, as compared to the howling going on a mear 48 hours before, is the proof of this. They’ve been caught out, and know it.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Bwahahahahaha!

The Surge worked....
Bush defeated Gore....
Palin isn’t a warmongering no-blood-but-oil-in-her-veins old man babysitter seal clubber with LESS experience than O! Less!

Just ask my professor. He’ll tell you. He’s written a textbook!
 
Written By: Student of Ott Scerb
URL: http://
Halfway through Sarah Palin’s speech tonight at the RNC, people following the speech noticed she was deviating from the prepared text. — According to sources close to the McCain campaign, the teleprompter continued scrolling during applause breaks.
I bet it was around that phrase .. "sources of resources" .. a real tongue twister that no good speech writer would put in.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I was mentioning to my wife earlier that I couldn’t figure out how she was using the teleprompter, when she wasn’t looking at the 30Right/30Left positions. I also noticed that her delivery was better the last part of the speech than the first part; thought she was a bit nervous. A broken teleprompter and delivering the speech from memory would explain both.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Bush defeated Gore....
And I thought the Winger Supreme Court selected Bush. After he won the first three ballot counts . . .

What gets me about the Dems . . . they think that after Bush won three, if Gore won the forth, that’s the one that would count!?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I gotta sorta disagree on at least one point, this election is, at least in part, Obama against Palin.
Why? Well, as a conservative who feels that McCain has spent the last 8 years sticking his finger in my eye, I needed a reason to support him.

Don, to answer your question, "Yes".
Just look at the results from the last Washington State governor’s election.
It went like this:
First count, GOP won by slim margin
First recount, GOP won by slim margin
Second recount (with new "found" votes) Dem won by slim margin that was less than the number of proven, illegal votes.
Solution, according to Dem-nominated judge?
Second recount counts, Dem wins.
 
Written By: Veeshir
URL: http://
What gets me about the Dems . . . they think that after Bush won three, if Gore won the forth, that’s the one that would count!?
Don’t forget the Democrat mantra:

"Do over! Do over!"

Which pretty much explains everything from estate taxes to abortion.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
How about we start calling her

Sarah’cuda...

She gave a great speech, which was meant for the convention. Can’t wait till she gives some interviews and stump speeches.

Someone said "Joe Biden better bring a cup to the debate."
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Someone said "Joe Biden better bring a cup to the debate."
That’s going to be one that the referee might want to stop.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
"Palin isn’t Reagan, she’s Reagan’s message embodied."
To the extent that that’s actually true, Martin, it’s a goddamned shame.

Reagan wasn’t good enough. Do you understand?

I should think that the twenty years since he departed the scene would make this clear. Hell, man: I was convinced on the ascent of his vice-president.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Jesus Billy, none of them have ever been good enough and never will be. So what’s the next most viable option?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Well Billy’s statement would explain a lot...Good Enough isn’t good enough for some.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"So what’s the next most viable option? "

Hari kari

Or maybe putzing around a tiny apartment writing crank newsletters like a catlady till you drop dead (Ayn Rand circa 1980)

Anything but trying to influence the actual real world.
 
Written By: Reasonable
URL: http://
My favorite blind deaf and dumb lefty reaction so far comes from Gloria Steinem, who wants us to think that she’s just as heartsick with worry for poor Sarah as she is for the rest of us gals:
I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden’s 37 years’ experience.
Yeah. Uh-huh. White Palin uses that month to "learn to compete," Biden might want to decide whether to resist his coming field dressing or just lie back and enjoy.

Interestingly, the LA Times was soliciting reader comments on the piece when I first saw it this morning, but as of this writing the comment box has been pulled and nary a reaction — including mine — has been posted. Hmmmmmm.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Linda - they changed the comments to here.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Blame me, and then moan that you can’t think of anything better to do. That’s terrific, you guys.

Carry on. It means nothing to me, or events. It doesn’t matter whether you like me or not. Reality is going to have its way with you, just as it has during the twenty years since the last half-assed hope that you had. Go look at it. I’m right — which has a lot less to do with me than the facts, but it’s okay: you can try to use me for your dodge if you want to.

See how far it gets you.

I’m going to be here after four more years, ladies and gentlemen, and I’ll still be right, whether you like it or not.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Thanks, Grimshaw. I’d just discovered that and was coming back here to link them myself. Looks like Biden won’t be the first to have his carcass... readied for removal.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
What are you talking about, Billy?

What is your standard of "good enough"? That might be a good place to start. If Reagan wasn’t, who was? Lincoln? What exactly is the standard you’re comparing Reagan and Palin against?

This would go a long way to explaining what you’re so "right" about. It’s not enough to say "I’m right".

The prevailing opinion in the Republican party is that Reagan is the best president we’ve had to offer. He is the standard by which we judge all other candidates for office. To say that Palin embodies Reagan’s message is to say that she aligns with conservatism as defined and described by Reagan. So far this seems to be accurate.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
"What is your standard of ’good enough’?"
Freedom, goddammit.

Do you understand? I’m speaking plain English, and it’s your problem if you don’t.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Freedom, goddammit."

Start shooting back then, you goddamn coward.

Otherwise you will be laughed at on your "high horse."
 
Written By: Cotts Rbe
URL: http://
Okay, sit back down in your rocking chair, grandpa. Just asking for a clarification, since it’s such a big godd*mn deal to you. I mean, you’re so godd*amn right, I just want to know what you’re right about, godd*ammit.

In all seriousness, Billy, if you were writing plain English, I wouldn’t have to ask. So why not count to ten and try again?
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
Billy,

Consider a sailboat.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"...you goddamn coward."
...sneers the creep with no name.

I’m the one who’s been putting my name on the fact that I’ve been putting my life on this line, online for decades now. Nobody has ever seen me post anything ever under any but my very own name because it’s never happened, and I’ve published things about me that would turn your hair white, sonny.

You’re dismissed.

The Next Nameless Person: I hope you can afford to sneer for the rest of your life. That way, you’ll never have to take anything seriously.

Don: I prefer dry land, and I happen to have a right to it.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Ah here we go, take a subject and make it about Billy Beck...From the Beckster PoV what could be better...Some bitter crank espousing a dead-end philosophy that has about 50 followers,. think of them as the Westboro Baptist Church for Anarcho-Capitalists, sees himself being passed by by folks that will actually matter, so now we have a thread jacking to make the announcement, "I’m Billy Beck and I’m still relevant."

Well whatever dude....I don’t think I’ll play...I’d advise ohters to not play as well..don’t feed the troll...Beck/Fred Phelps/Huckabee all the losers need this attention to make themselves feel better, after all even an attack is better than contempt or indifference...

Now what was the topic of this thread again?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Oh yeah LEFTIST reactions to Sarah Palin’s speech...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"...folks that will actually matter..."
You don’t understand, fool: there is no dispute about that.

By the time this is done, this country is going to deserve morons like you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"...folks that will actually matter..."
You don’t understand, fool: there is no dispute about that.
Are you a Leftist, is this response to Palin’s Speech? If the answer to both isn’t "Yes" then I should care about your opinion in any way or consider it germane to this thread how?

Sorry Beck I just don’t care about your opinion, on much of anything...especially politics....in fact I consider Erb’s writing SUPERIOR to Beck’s on politics...Because Erb can actually address an issue, muster an argument, that goes beyond, "this is not debatable" "moron" or "cretin", link his arguments together in a coherent manner, and provide evidence to support his claims, whilst the resident An-Cap is pretty much reduced to school yard taunts...I mean really I’d MUCH prefer the drivel of Erb to some who post here...

Must be tough seeking relevance in a world that isn’t an echo chamber of An-Cap silliness, and having to actually discuss matters with those who are not fan-boyz or zealots to the cause.

So any way, did Palin drive them Leftists nuts or what? Only heard snatches of it, but I figure she must have done something right if all the “community organizers” are so upset...anyone ask Reverends Sharpton or Jackson their opinions on the speech?

My theory is, much of the anger in the world is the result of mirrors being held up and many folks not liking what they see or hear...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe -

I see. It took visiting his blog for me to actually get it. I do like how he clarified his point there, but not here. So he’s both a crank and he’s disinterested in educatin’ us poor fools. Just so long as he isn’t wasting anyone’s time.

The exact reason I don’t use my real name is because there’s psychos like that out there.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
It’s a bit premature to call her the next Reagan. (The funny thing is, that’s as close as we Republicans would get to deifying a politician, calling him or her the "next Reagan".)

The speech was on the national stage, but it was still the RNC convention. I expect her next speech will be more illuminating if only because the context will demand it.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Left didn’t like the speech. What, like they were going to see the light and convert?

Curiously, I didn’t feel at all worried when listening to Obama’s speech. I felt worried when Clinton spoke.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
I think I have missed ALL the Conventions from 1992 on...I know who I’m voting FOR/AGAINST what’s the point? If you like speechifying that’s all well and good, but they simply don’t do much for me, any more. I might have watched the Democratic one this year if Hillary hadn’t conceded, if it had come down to a floor fight for the "Super Delegates" that might have been interesting.

They seem mostly gabfests for "pundits" these days....

I wouldn’t "reify" Palin, after all Reagan wasn’t very Reagan at times...People need to realize that they are POLITICIANS, and politicians kiss babies, say what they think the median voter wants to hear and make deals...Washington, Lincoln, FDR they all did and do...they aren’t "gods" sent here to mind us or lead us...and so when they behave as all politicians will, from time-to-time, it makes the supposed "pain" of betrayal less...I mean if you look at it, one of the more "principled" politicians in DC these days is Pelosi. 60-plus percent of the voters say "Drill Here, Drill Now" but she’s standing by here opposition, is she wrong yes, BUT she isn’t just looking at the poll numbers either, is she?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
They seem mostly gabfests for "pundits" these days....
They’re coronation ceremonies.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Reagan was by no means perfect. He certainly set the bar — well, that’s what I think anyhow.

 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
They seem mostly gabfests for "pundits" these days....
They’re coronation ceremonies.
Yeah, I think some prefer the idea of "coronation" more than others...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The funny thing about Reagan and McCain, at least if this study is true, is how much the idiology of the paties has changedsince Reagan...McCain TODAY, would be on the Far Right of Reagan’s GOP...McCain TODAY is in the mainstream of his party, and accused of being a "RINO." Just as JFK is a Republican by today’s standards, Reagan is a RINO by ours....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

 
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