August 31st, 2008

Palin: a less-wordy Obama for the Right?

The blogs and airwaves are alive with Democrats looking down on Sarah Palin.

She’s inexperienced. She’s just a pretty face. She was chosen merely for her gender and her “Movie of the Week” life story.

Sound familiar? Just change the pronouns “she” and “her” to “he” and “his,” the word “pretty” to “handsome” and “gender” to “race,” and you’ve got our Democratic nominee for President: Barack Obama.

One huge difference, of course, is he’s running for President and she for Vice-President. The latter position traditionally goes to a less-experienced candidate. The Democrats would like you to forget that inconvenient truth and imagine that McCain’s health is so precarious, his age so advanced, that Palin is almost certain to become President within a few days of his inauguration (although according to actuarial tables, his life expectancy is actually 11.5 years. But who’s counting?)

The biggest difference is that Obama is of the Left and Palin of the Right. That he speaks as though he’s a reformer but was deeply in league with and assisted by the corrupt Chicago political machine of his own party, while she fought against the corrupt politics of fellow Republicans in her own state and won. That her admittedly meager high-level political experience is of the executive sort, while his similarly sparse resume contains only the legislative type. That she is a woman of action and he a man of words. That she chose to have her Downs baby and care for it and he fought to allow babies born alive after attempted abortions die. That he is inordinately fond of weasle words, contradicting himself, and the repetitive hum of “ummm;” and she (in the little we’ve seen of her) seems direct and straightforward.

Obama trumps Palin in the category of academic credentials, if you like that sort of thing. I’ve never noticed it has much to do with whether a President is effective or not, or even especially smart in terms of what one might call horse sense.

Palin has similarities not only with Obama. Her personal vibe is a bit like that of Harry Truman. Although he had a much longer pre-VP tenure in national political life than either candidate (twelve years as Senator from Missouri) he, like Palin, was a folksy down-to-earth plainspeaking rural sort. He even wore the wire-rimmed eyeglasses, although they didn’t look as good on him as they do on her (and Truman bears the distinction of having been the last President who didn’t even go to college).

Truman lacked any hint of the outdoorsman/woman ruggedness that Palin exudes. That latter characteristic is reserved for another president sharing some traits with Palin: the muckracking, hunting, wild Western: Theodore Roosevelt. Other similarities: five children, not a great deal of prior national-level political experience (Teddy’s highest offices before being tapped for VP were Assistant Secretary of the Navy for one year and NY Governor for one year—although his military exploits with the Rough Riders had made him nationally known). Teddy was also extraoridnaily young; at 42, he remains the youngest President ever.

And again, there were those wire-rimmed glasses.

51 Responses to “Palin: a less-wordy Obama for the Right?”

  1. rawdawgbuffalo Says:

    Palin aind no Phillis Wheatley

  2. Brad Says:

    “…inconvenient truth …”
    PLEASE not to use that phrase honerable woman!

  3. Brad Says:


    Still I demand that you address the fact that Palin bore her teenage daughter’s baby!

  4. Bonzo Says:

    It is interesting for me to see how those who erected Obama cannot see that Palin is better qualified for VP.

    Is it that they cannot see that both are neophytes? I’m beginning to think the voting age needs to be raised to 35.

  5. Kaba Says:

    Great article Neo.

    I bet the vast majority of the people in fly-over America know at least one Sarah Palin. It might be a wife, sister or daughter. Or perhaps a beloved school teacher, coworker or neighbor. Women who are quietly competent. Women who accomplish seemingly impossible task with no fanfare. And who seek no credit after the fact.

    Sarah’s selection will serve the McCain campaign well. And she will subsequently serve America very well.
    God Bless America

  6. Perfected democrat Says:

    Neo, for what it’s worth, great post, in my opinion maybe the best I’ve personally ever read you…

  7. Gringo Says:

    Apparently Sarah Barracuda, a.k.a.Governor Palin, is not as much a naif in foreign affairs as many would think.
    HT: Grim’s Hall

  8. FredHjr Says:

    Judging from the crescendo of apoplexy coming from the Left, they are scared of this woman.

    They should be. She hunts and fishes, and she’s about to send a new job to her taxidermist: “Josephus Bidenus, Maximus Bloviaticus”

    If I didn’t despise her opponents I would feel sorry for them. The Left honestly thinks that Obama and Biden have greater foreign policy “gravitas” than McCain? LMAO!!

    Guys like Putin and Ahmadinejad eat people like Obama for lunch and defecate them before supper.

  9. Dane Says:

    Well, let’s face it. Though GWB appointed more minorities to important posts than any of his predecessors we all know they didn’t really count. Why, you may ask? Because they were conservatives they really didn’t count – weren’t really black or hispanic – didn’t really understand the “minority” experience. Maybe they think Sarah Palin isn’t a “real” woman. Though the fact that she has more cajones than most of them may lend that idea some support in their minds. Oddly enough if she weren’t a “real (born with that gender) woman she would certainly be MORE acceptable to the left. Sometimes I manage to amuse myself.

  10. Peter Says:

    Please check out my blog for a more informed perspective. I mean no disrespect, obviously, but it is very apparent that McCain didn’t spend a moment learning the things we Alaskans already know about our governor, and the nation doesn’t know about them yet either.

  11. Oldflyer Says:

    Brad, Brad. I am really disappointed to read that kind of tripe on this forum. Save if for Huffpo. They will not only believe it, they will help you spread it like manure on a truffle garden.

    One thing about Truman. FDR considered him a bufoon and kept him so isolated from his Administration that he did not even know we were near completing an atomic bomb. He had not an inkling of the deals reached with Stalin and Churchill on the post-war world. Yet he had the qualities of Executive Leadership required to rise to the occasion.

    On the other hand LBJ had all the experience anyone could ask for. He was the consumate Washington insider. When his time came it did not serve him well, and the Nation suffered through one of our most debillitating agonies.

    I don’t care for the experience cited by the Pundits. I want honesty, judgement, decisiveness and strength of will. There are more than enough experienced and expert advisors on any subject the VP or President will confront.

  12. Tim P Says:

    Still I demand that you address the fact that Palin bore her teenage daughter’s baby!

    This was floated at Kos’s site originally. Not only is it a lie, it illustrates the character of type of folks who generally populate the more lunatic fringes of the left.

    While the general smear gets across, the grammar is high school sophomore C-, uhm, like the thinking behind it. “Palin bore her teenage daughter’s baby.” Bore her daughter’s baby? What, was the fertilized egg transplanted so that she could bear her daughter’s baby? Do tell.

    Let me help you. Perhaps you meant to say that Palin was claiming her teenage daughter’s baby as her own.
    After the laughter has died down, please tell us why?

    Then again, the politics of personal destruction has been the stock and trade of the dem/left crowd since I can remember, going back to the anti-Goldwater daisy-girl ad in 64.

  13. Brad Says:

    Hey Oldflye,
    It was sarc, but the real crud is getting worse, now the dkos are claimin that that the reason for the “cover-up” is the fact that the father raped the girl. This took all of 2 days!?!? We live in not-so-interesting times.

  14. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Sarah’s little known musical career:

  15. Tim P Says:

    Peter said,

    McCain didn’t spend a moment learning the things we Alaskans already know about our governor

    Peter, I’ve been an Alaskan longer than you’ve been alive. I doubt you are even old enough to vote. I looked at your site and it’s a callow re-hash of leftie spew points against Palin.

    If you are going to try and trash someone from the angle that you’re from the same state, therefore you have some special insight everyone else lacks, at least try and come up with an original thought. Jeez.

  16. Tim P Says:

    Brad, if that was sarcasm, you sucked me in. I thought you were trolling.
    However, what I said above still stands for the folks who originate this crap.

  17. kungfu Says:

    I agree with this statement:
    The biggest difference is that Obama is of the Left and Palin of the Right.

    But I disagree with this one:

    One huge difference, of course, is he’s running for President and she for Vice-President. The latter position traditionally goes to a less-experienced candidate.

    Cheney, Lieberman, Bensten, Kemp, GHW Bush, LBJ, all come to mind as VP candidates with plenty of experience. Only Quayle and Edwards ring a bell for the not so experienced column.

    I’m baffled. I’ve been reading you for months, scaring the heck out of me with this out of left field (pun intended) Obama character. McCain says a running mate should be someone who can step in and be president on day one, and you’re not just a little bit skeptical about the Palin selection?

    Is it just your excitement that she could change the course of the election, invigorate the base and at the same time steal some independent voters?

  18. Ymarsakar Says:

    And if McCain gets somehow shot up by eco terrorists, islamofascists, or anti-US EU fanatics, Palin will become President. Just like what happened with Teddy Roosevelt. And the Republicans will be in for quite a shock as well, just like it was with Teddy.

  19. Ymarsakar Says:

    Cheney, Lieberman, Bensten, Kemp, GHW Bush, LBJ, all come to mind as VP candidates with plenty of experience.

    Those are used to prop up the candidate’s lack of foreign policy experience and Washington esque maneuvers. Bush, for example, wanted Cheney cause he’s been around the block a few times.

  20. Marcellus Says:

    Apt presidential comparisons, Neo. I’m not entirely comfortable with Sarah (I’m Alaskan, so I can be familiar, as is our wont) as the VP choice, but I’ll weigh in on one of the objections: that she isn’t likely to be an effective Commander-in-Chief, should she assume the presidency.

    One need only take a quick look at our history to find examples of seasoned, highly-educated, well-intentioned presidents of both parties responsible for military decisions that did not turn out so well. In all cases, presidents do not make decisions in a vacuum: there is the Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs, etc.

    What’s really under the surface in the question is this: Will the troops fight, or will they not, when asked by the president? (Has this been formally named yet ‘the Clinton problem’? I’m talking about Bill, for those with short memories.)

    Sarah Palin is someone who has hunted and fished all her life and can talk guns with anyone, has always supported our citizens in uniform, comes from a state with a large military presence, is utterly at ease personally when amongst troops and displays dazzling charisma, has that tough blue collar spouse, and an enlisted son. Could this person–note that I don’t think gender is an issue here, given those characteristics–instill confidence and inspire the troops to give their all? Bet your ass. And if we want to go one better . . . John McCain.

  21. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Dane, you are correct. Palin is not considered the right sort of woman by the Arts & Humanities Clan, so she is in some sense “not real.” These are people who consider “community organizer,” “corrupt state legislator,” and “virtually unopposed Senate candidate” to be resume enhancers. That is why they have to skip over qualifications like “Governor,” “mayor,” “reformer,” “businesswoman,” and “mother of five” and go straight to “beauty queen.” It’s because they just can’t bear it.

    Peter, many of us sounded like you in our younger days, and I just don’t have the heart to kick you, even after skimming your site. I will offer some advice, if you can hear it: don’t confuse the social cues of those who would appear intelligent with actual intellectual arguments.

  22. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Oops, forgot. Regarding your “Movie of the Week” biography: except Obama’s movie would be one of those significant Hollywood films that are supposed to enlighten us, and Palin’s is a movie people would actually watch.

  23. nyomythus Says:

    Neo nails it again — great post!

  24. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    1. The lefties who are coming up with ever more ridiculous charges against Palin are telling me one thing by their actions—that they are scared shitless of her nomination.

    2. With all this talk of qualifications and “executive experience” and “mine is bigger than yours,” doesn’t anyone think it very strange that neither Obama nor his crew have brought up Obama’s only “executive experience,” that of being the Director of the Annenberg Challenge of Chicago for several years, during which time he and his close buddy Bill Ayers ran the organization and dispensed $110 million in grants to their left wing cronies for all sorts of leftist ideologically oriented programs, teaching things like Black identity politics, none of which, according to the national Annenberg Challenge organization and outside experts, did anything to help Chicago’s abysmal schools?

  25. FredHjr Says:

    Wolla Dalbo,

    I’ve explained the same thing you have about the Chicago Annenberg issues, and how it is going to be difficult for Obonga Minimalis to strut his “executive” experience now that Mr. Kurtz is investigating exactly what that was all about.

    Methinks that long-legged mack daddy has been hoisted on his own petard.

    I can’t wait to see what she does to Senator Josephus Bidensis Bloviatus in the debate. Bet the farm that her taxidermist is going to get another big game kill to stuff and mount.

  26. don Says:

    McCain says a running mate should be someone who can step in and be president on day one, and you’re not just a little bit skeptical about the Palin selection?

    Well, she does have the most executive experience on the ticket. And more than Obama and Biden combined (unless Obama wants to brag about his work with his terrorist buddy).

    What I find scary is how the Democrats have nominated such an unfit ticket. A couple of lawyers, with no real leadership experience.

  27. strcpy Says:

    “McCain says a running mate should be someone who can step in and be president on day one, and you’re not just a little bit skeptical about the Palin selection?”

    I cringed when he said that and still would even had he chosen a former president. Really, that is the only person who *can* step in day one and do the job (well, sorta, it takes a while for their political appointments to go through and to be brought up to speed on non-public issues).

    Further it is silly to expect a VP to do that – if they are as strong a candidate as the Presidential candidate that is a plus, but an inexperienced one is not a minus either. McCain’s age has no role in this either – he is as likely to die tomorrow or live for another four years as any other person on the planet. By the time one can expect “Old Age” to have him succumb she will have more *current* experience as any one else on the planet.

    Your VP should be someone who shows good judgment and ability to learn/think on their feet. The VP just isn’t a terribly important job unless something goes horribly wrong.

    That is what the VP position should be and when it has they have gone on to do good work. I dislike that McCain said what he did – but then McCain has said a large amount of things that I don’t like too so no biggie there. You could pick several MUCH more “damaging” thing I have said (and still say) about him, but the Dems realize what this choice means and why they have to attack *her*.

    Both her and Obama make near perfect VP’s for their party – young, fairly intelligent, well spoken, passionate about politics and what they lack in experience will be made up by working at that level quite quickly (and both hold ideas that are pretty much in line with their parties base). Both make horrid presidential candidates as they will *not* have the time needed to gain what they need.

    Of course this is why the Democrats are in a fit trying to discredit her as much as possible before the non-hard core political junkies get a good feel for what she (and that ticket) is. She really brings out how *bad* Obama is as a presidential candidate if for nothing more than showing where that level of experience has the ability to do the most good.

    If she does well in the debates I *really* look forward to the Obamaites after seeing him “umm” his way through non-scripted questions.

  28. SteveH Says:

    The last thing a democrat wanted was this stark comparison of personalities Palin brings to the race. They will now reflexively attempt to make their own candle brighter only by blowing hers out. Which brings the personality contrast even more into play.

    John McCain has effectively put the democrats in a pair of chinese handcuffs till November.

  29. Amused Cynic » Blog Archive » Sarah Palin just makes me smile….I’m still up here on Cloud Nine…. Says:

    […] sure to keep up with The Anchoress this weekend for more on-going Palin stuff, and Neo-neocon as well.  I’m so excited I’m going out to start cooking Labor Day burgers on the […]

  30. david foster Says:

    Gov Palin seems much more action-oriented that Sen Obama, who is a quintessential word-person.

    Even holding marksmanship skills constant, who would you rather go tiger-hunting with?…Obama or Palin? Even holding boat-handling skills constant, who would you rather go commercial fishing in bad weather with?

  31. nyomythus Says:


    Is Sarah Palin a stupid arse Creationist that believes the Earth is less than 10,000 years old???

    I’m seeing some reports of this… google is, though I havn’t found any credible evidence yet.

    I’m not joining a coalition of the Religious Right that is 1/2 a brain cell away from the Militant Islamist!

    If this is true then every intelligent neocon and classical liberal here should abstain for go for the lesser evil; Obama-Biden.

  32. Uh-huh Says:

    Jeff over at the Protein Wisdom blog has been keeping track of all the incredibly stupid Palin smears the left side of the blog world has been attempting to pass off as real

    Give it a look, and read down at all the comments.

  33. ModDem Says:

    I said it here before with Obama and I’ll say it now about Palin: political experience doesn’t necessarily matter to voters. And it actually may not matter at all because being a president is about setting a tone. You get experience for that in many ways other than sitting in office. Palin might be able to get the GOP base fired up. Although the latest Frank Luntz poll showed they were not impressed:
    Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain. They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin

  34. Tim P Says:

    While I realize that Palin’s selection as VP was only this past Friday, I am surprised that most of the coverage about her has been uninformative. Most of what’s been written so far has been positive gushing or negative rumors and smears.

    This woman has been in public life for some time now and she does have a record. I think that if folks dig into her record they will find that she is not any of the one-dimensional caricatures that have been painted of her so far, but a real person who may or may not be someone you want to vote for, for vice-president.

    Let’s start with Nyomythus’s comment, “Is Sarah Palin a stupid arse Creationist that believes the Earth is less than 10,000 years old???”
    Stupid-ass, hardly. I submit that you don’t get where she is in life by being stupid, but judge for yourselves.

    In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska said of evolution and creation education, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”…I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she said.

    She is anti abortion and is a practicing Christian. So what. So were many of our best statesmen.

    How about the smear that her infant son is really her daughter’s? Even the Kos crowd is backing away slowly from that one.

    Let’s look at some of her credentials as a reformer. Note that Alaska is a major oil producing state. The oil industry furnishes a big part of this state’s income, both in taxes and in income for its citizens. Ergo, its influence reaches far and deep.

    If you’ll remember Ted Stevens indictment stems from gifts he received from Bill Allen, who ran VECO, an oil field services company and who was also implicated in the convictions of several Alaskan state legislators. Approximately 2% of Palin’s contributions came from lobbyists. The rest from individuals.

    Her husband has worked as an operator for quite some time and is in no way politically related. She did take approximately $13,000.00 in contributions from oil company lobbyists, but also pushed through a tax increase on oil company profits.

    Palin is in favor of petroleum development and building a natural-gas pipeline, which the industry supports. She´s also favors drilling in Alaska´s protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is something McCain has been against.

    “As chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she exposed the ethical violations of state Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich. Mr. Ruedrich had to resign from the board and was fined $12,000.”

    Neo has spoken well on her positions vis a vis gay rights.

    As for Troopergate. It’s a non-issue.

    As more comes out about her past, both truth and distortions, please don’t forget to pay attention to what she is saying now and how she acquits herself in debate against Biden. Also, don’t forget to look at the larger, scarier and more numerous skeletons in both Biden’s and Obama’s closets because much of this noise on Palin is an attempt to distract us from other matters.

    For instance, Obama’s ties to Ayer’s, or Bidens backing the wrong horse in every foreign policy debate since the Pershing missile dust up in the 80’s

    Dig, read and make up your own minds, it’s our burdens as citizens.

  35. Ozyripus Says:

    neo said: “Truman lacked any hint of the outdoorsman/woman ruggedness that Palin exudes.”

    Harry Truman worked his grandparents’ 600 acre farm from 1906 to 1917, when he entered the Army. That meant, in those days before tractors, day after day — outdoors — looking at the backside of a horse or mule in Missouri heat and humidity. The “ruggedness” of the men that did that was of the rawhide and whipcord type not noticeable under a suit in later years.

    He did share another characteristic with Palin. His Senatorial investigation of corruption and profiteering in industrial war production saved huge amounts of cash and brought him to public recognition. And the urban Democrats did think of him as a hick.

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    Toes: Exactly what about the following sentence do you not understand [emphasis added]?:

    That her admittedly meager high-level political experience is of the executive sort, while his similarly sparse resume contains only the legislative type…

    Translated: they both are lacking the sort of experience most of us would ideally like to see in a President or a Vice President. That said, her experience is of a somewhat more relevant variety than his in terms of what a President actually does. And neither are DC insiders, so that is similar as well.

    Furthermore, experience isn’t everything. So far, her personal characteristics (especially her history as a reformer) speak better of her ability to govern decisively and well than Obama’s do. I am singularly unimpressed by his vaunted “intelligence,” of which I’ve not seen much evidence. I couldn’t care less where he or any other candidate went to school or what his grades were, as long as he demonstrates intelligence now. Obama has said a great many ignorant things, some of which I’ve written about at length in this blog. If you want to go back and read the “Obama” category listed on the right sidebar, be my guest.

  37. Darrell Says:

    I hope they keep pushing the experience angle:

  38. Darrell Says:

    And they even trotting out Bullwinkle for goodness sake!:

  39. Keith Says:

    Looks like Palin may know more about national security than some suppose.

    From scroll down left side of page

    Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.

    As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism.

    The comments go into more detail on this, noting that she is not involved in the command structure. Comments also note that she has some foreign policy experience, having been part of pipeline negotions with Canada among other things.

  40. nyomythus Says:

    Tim P Says: In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska said of evolution and creation education, “Teach both.

    Teach both?? Should we teach that the world is flat? or that the Sun revolved around Earth.

    There is a mountain of ‘reasonable’ evidence that life evolved on Earth; from DNA, to radioclock dating, to physical (you can touch and feel it) fossil records.

    The liberation of Iraq was a humanitarian emergency and was politically justified, but Bush didn’t make his case by adding the credulity of “God wants people to be free” — nothing could be further from the truth; God says we are born sick and commanded to be well, that we are free to follow Him or burn in everlasting Hell; this isn’t the model of human freedom, this is the template and source of Totalitarianism.

    Granted, Palin won’t be leading the way on policy, I think McCain has more sense than allowing more of these sorts of forehead-slapping gaffs, but it does say something about his decision making skills; though pulling in a woman to the ticket no matter what was necessarily. Now that my anger has subsided …. I’m back to “undecided” once again.

    Ultimately, the president that can keep a mashing thumb down on militant theism, abroad and at home, is the administration America needs. Hmmm, yep, still undecided.

  41. Keith Says:

    As a geneticist and a biostatistician, I would not be too keen on putting creation “science” alongside evolution in a science curriculum. That said, it looks like the Dems are trying to spin this a bit. Below are some excerpts from LGF about this. My additions are in .
    Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 1:15:58 pm PST

    LGF readers are probably aware that I am no creationist; in fact, I am strongly opposed to the teaching of “intelligent design” or “creation science,” or any other name the advocates for creationism concoct in their relentless quest to promote pseudo-science.

    So I was disturbed to learn of Sarah Palin’s apparent support for creationism. However, as I posted in a comment earlier, she does not appear to be the fanatical type who wants to force or sneak the teaching of creationism into public school science classrooms.

    But this is going to be a point of attack for the left, as Wired Magazine’s Brandon Keim demonstrates in this article: McCain’s VP Wants Creationism Taught in School.

    is all true as far as it goes, but it’s a bit dishonest of Keim not to quote the rest of Palin’s statements in the article he linked: ‘Creation science’ enters the race.

    In an interview Thursday , Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

    “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

    She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum.

    “I won’t have religion as a litmus test, or anybody’s personal opinion on evolution or creationism,” Palin said.

    Looks like Palin made an off-the-cuff statement during a debate on a hot topic, didn’t really expect the criticism she’d get, and then softened her position considerably in a follow-up interview. But to quote just the first part of her statements on creationism and ignore the second is misleading; because in the clarification she’s describing a position that doesn’t cause me (a staunch anti-creationist) any discomfort.

    It does not surprise me one bit that a reporter left out a few key bits that weakened his position. My experience is that this is more common than not.


  42. Keith Says:

    My formatting did not come thru in the above post. Only the first and last paragraph are mine. The rest is from LGF.

  43. Tim P Says:

    I am putting out what she said. That does not mean I endorse it. I do not.
    That being said, as was mentioned above in the comments, she has not as governor tried to force the teaching of creationism anywhere. (Good thing too as far as I’m concerned.)

    I only wish that the left was as tolerant of ideas they disagreed with.

  44. nyomythus Says:

    Thanks for the link and comments, Keith.

  45. Michael McNeil Says:

    Good comments about McCain’s likely longevity in that Feb. piece. As you then noted, McCain’s still-living and vigorous 95 year old mother, far beyond average longevity, is reason to think his lifespan won’t be short. Including, as you say, because skin cancer is typically not very dangerous when treated early enough, while the one relatively virulent case he had is long gone and, from what I’ve read, at this point has less than a 10% chance of recurrence.

    In Feb., of course, nobody knew who McCain’s opponent was going to be, but now that we do, I think it’s worth extending the analysis further. Obama’s mother died of cancer (a disease for which genetic heritage is an extremely important factor in determining one’s general susceptibility) when she was only 6 years older than Obama is right now. Thus, the belief that McCain is likely to die in office, while Obama is not, may very well not be correct.

    At minimum, just as McCain has allowed reporters to peruse his medical record, Obama certainly should do likewise.

  46. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    nyomythus, I agree with you that 7-Day Creationism is untenable. However, humans only learned to even talk about 50,000 years ago, and only built shelters, domesticated animals, and planted crops about 10,000 years ago. As a practical matter, the general Biblical account suggesting a beginning for humans about 7,000 years ago isn’t that far different, if one accepts that tight a definition for what a “human” is. Insisting on literalism from Genesis isn’t wise, but neither is disregarding it.

    I know, I know. The creationists will have literalism only. Sigh. But don’t perpetuate the either-or choice. It only makes them worse.

    And you’ve got to back off that “1/2 a brain cell from militant Islamists thing.” It’s clever, but it’s progressives who put their energy into the wittiness of a comment rather than its accuracy, not us.

  47. nyomythus Says:

    Insisting on literalism from Genesis isn’t wise, but neither is disregarding it.

    I’m disregarding the delusion of monotheism, for one reason, if the notion were first proposed today then it would have never have become self-sustaining, we have better answers today for what canonical teachings give us, better answers for the origins of life, better answers for philosophy and morality, better answers for geological and meteorological events, better answers for humanitarianism; religious dogma should not be revered nor should the words of anyone claims it as their credentials, alchemy has given way to chemistry, astrology has given way to astronomy, classical reason nullifies these notions of the past. Look at what religion has given us in the north Ireland, the Middle east, Indonesian, Philippines … the evidence against religion is exceeds a reasonable doubt. I mean look at the teachings of Jesus, there wasn’t a place of everlasting fire until Jesus meek and mild invented it, and what serial killer could be prosecuted with “turn the other cheek” — it is not moral to teach these things.

    Finding common ground with militant theism is the last thing we need to do; spray em’ squash em’, kill em’ — I can go on and on but I think it’s clear what I mean to say about militant theism.

  48. R.C. Says:


    You say,

    It is interesting for me to see how those who erected Obama cannot see that Palin is better qualified for VP.

    Isn’t it more accurate to say that Obama “erected” them?

    Or did I misunderstand the euphemism of Chris Matthew’s “tingle?”

  49. R.C. Says:


    “Religion” is often a fire needing quenching. That’s when it’s enraged with noble, but not-quite-right, understandings of truth (as in Hinduism, Animism, Greco-Roman and Norse Paganism, et cetera): For only the noble inspires such vigor, for good or ill.

    “Religion,” when ignoble or pessimistic (e.g. modern materialist atheism), cannot inspire such vigor for good or ill, but can neither inspire much sacrifice, creativity, service, or — an important point — sense of duty to the objective truth, come hell or high water.

    Judeo-Christian tradition, philosophy, and belief, however, gave us specifically that sacrificial duty to the truth in our civilization which was needed to invent the physical sciences. Which is why the Catholic Church in particular was such a generous patron of the sciences…and why on the rare occasion when a clash with a scientist went the wrong way (e.g. Galileo, though it’s a vastly overblown episode) the scientist in question was willing, against all self-interest, to insist upon what was true.

    Or did you think it was a coincidence that, after brief but unsustainable outbursts of learning in Egypt, China, and India, it was Europe where it first flourished?

    One has to believe in an ordered universe, friend, to think that what one does now has predictable outcomes. Atheist scientists today are not worse scientists for it, and I mostly take their protestations of intellectual honesty at face value (knowing and loving a few of them, as I do). But they are living off an inheritance, and unless they are more careful about preserving it, they will have little left of it to pass on to their intellectual children.

    But never fear. Jews and Christians will continue to churn out more than their fair share of people who insist that truth is more important than “getalongability.” And even if half of them are duped or bullied into apostasy by academia, that value will allow the scientific tradition to live on, continually renewed by its most faithful (no pun intended) source.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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