Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Defending Palin

On Friday, John McCain introduced Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Palin was (and is) relatively unknown, and no one could know which lines of attack the Left would use against her. Four days later, though, we know how the Democrats plan on attacking Palin—and their attacks happen to be very weak.

There are three Democrat attacks against Palin: the criticisms of her maternal life, the inexperience charge, and “Troopergate.”

Complaints about Palin’s maternal skills center around the pregnancy of her teenage daughter Bristol. This is a particularly despicable tactic—the private life of Palin’s daughter can have no possible bearing on the campaign. These smears are wholly irrelevant, and there is really nothing else to say about them.

Another facet of the “bad mother” smear is the notion that Palin shouldn’t accept the nomination in order to preserve the privacy of her pregnant daughter. But by that logic, any candidate with a family shouldn’t be involved in politics. Attention comes with the territory—it is unfortunate, but the truth. And the notion that Palin can’t take care of her children while running, as some have charged, is just silly.

The inexperience argument is a bit more nuanced. I’m not sure that anyone could argue that Palin is very experienced—ten years as mayor of a small city and less than two years as governor do not make for a very seasoned candidate.

On the other hand, she is probably more experienced than Obama is. She has been in elected office longer—she began her time as mayor of Wasilla a year before Obama became a State Senator. And while mayor of Wasilla is only a part time job, it involves more governing than serving as a State Senator—which is also a part time job.

Apparently, everyone has forgotten about Palin’s service in the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which she chaired from 2003-2004. It is responsible for overseeing oil and gas drilling and production in Alaska, and her work in this organization ensures that she is familiar with every detail of energy production in Alaska. She is an expert on oil drilling (at least as it relates to Alaska), a fact that cannot be repeated too often.

And Palin’s Alaska governorship experience is much greater than Obama’s Senate experience. Obama has spent nearly half of his Senate time running for President, while Palin has had to actually spend time governing in Alaska. Palin has more executive experience than anyone else on either ticket—and the presidency is in the executive branch.

Of course, it isn’t hard to be more experienced than Barack Obama, and having more experience than Obama isn’t exactly an automatic qualification for the presidency. So is Palin qualified? Yes, but just barely. She has much more executive experience than any other candidate running. Granted, she is simply the best of a bad lot in that regard, but the fact remains that she is still the best. And her governorship of Alaska, while brief, was effective—her approval ratings hovered in the eighties. Palin is not the most experienced candidate ever, and she would be much better with a little experience—but she is (barely) experienced enough.

“Troopergate” probably could do the most damage to Palin if it pans out—but it is a long shot. Apparently, Palin wanted Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan to fire her former brother-in-law, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, which he refused to do. Later, Palin fired Monegan. Monegan claims that he was relieved because he wouldn’t fire Wooten. Palin denies this. (More on this story, though there isn’t much more, here).

Not a terribly damning story for Palin, and this story probably won’t go anywhere. Using this lame “controversy” as an attack, as many Democrats have done, is a sign of desperation.

Democrats have three avenues of attack against Sarah Palin. One is offensively irreverent (the Bristol pregnancy), one is a legitimate if flawed criticism (experience), and one is simply grasping at straws (Troopergate). Liberals can’t seem to find a reasonable narrative against Palin—a sign that she was a strong pick for McCain.


At September 2, 2008 at 6:56 PM , Blogger Beth said...

I am one who questions how Sarah Palin as a mother could go into this knowing her daughter's pregnancy would soon be known to the whole world. As a mother myself, I cannot see how she could let her career be more important than protecting her daughter.

Maybe if last Friday, when Palin was introducing her family, she gave the news about her daughter and that she recognizes that the Republican idea to teach abstinence needs something more to make it work, then she would have taken this whole thing away from the media and the Democrats to expose and exploit, then, maybe then I would have more respect for Sarah Palin.

At September 3, 2008 at 3:19 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

I am one who says good for her.
If she was a man no one would be questioning this!
Give it up already, can't the right do anything to please you folks?
She is a brave and a wonderful women whoes daughter made a mistake, for heavens sake!
SO what so you want from her? BLOOD?
Go after the other side who has made much more costly mistakes, who does not have our country at heart as she and John do.

At September 3, 2008 at 3:29 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Who are we to question her Judgement, she knew this would come out! Of couse she knew it. Do you think that you knew it and she didn't. The point is SHE had the courage and the guts to face it and to go ahead anyway.
But you can sit there and "THROW STONES" at her.
Throw the stones at the other side for a change and get off your high horse!
Fred Thompston and Joseph Lieberman said it all last night. They knew it, and they sent the message home loud and clear.
If you can't fine but stop your whining and give the lady a chance.
I only wish people like you wold blast Obama and Biden like you do to your own.

At September 3, 2008 at 4:45 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I do "blast Obama" believe me I do. But I can be objective, and as a mother myself I cannot understand how she could put her daughter through this. I do think one's judgment when they are running for the second biggest job in the world should be scrutinized. As I suggested, she could have brought it up before she had to. But I will be fair and wait to see what she says tonight at the convention, to see how she handles it during her speech. Fair enough? I only ask you to be objective yourself, TS.

At September 3, 2008 at 5:08 AM , Anonymous Throwing Stones said...

Fair enough? No it was not fair enough! Why were you not objective before you wrote that post?
And why should she have brought it up? It was not her job ot, but she didn't hide it either!
For crying out loud, why are we so darn critical of our selves and not the Libs?
Find me a PERFECT person and I'll call her or him a lier

At September 3, 2008 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Some people spent the entire post election season PREACHING about how the Vice President must be ultra Conservative and most of all anti abortion and Pro-Life. Well Sarah Palin is as pro-life as any candidate can possibly be. She has gone so far to prove it that she wouldn’t allow her own daughter to have an abortion. Was that good enough to the ultra Conservatives? No.
Why does Sarah Palin needs to give anymore details about who does what in her household?? Do ever ask those questions of Nancy Pelosi? Or Hillary Clinton?
Nancy Pelosi is not only McCain's age but she is also the Speaker of the House and a mother of FIVE children. Does anyone ask her about her children?

Also the blogger writes;
“Troopergate”” probably could do the most damage to Palin if it pans out."
Have you or anyone else here bothered to do the research on why she wanted this guy fired?

The trooper in “Troopergate” was found to have used a taser on his OWN 10 year old stepson; And threatened the life of Gov. Palin’s father.
Any questions?
Do the research, try Google "Troopergate tasing his stepson"

At September 3, 2008 at 10:40 AM , Blogger Beth said...

TS, maybe you don't know the meaning of the word "objective".

Anyway, I am probably more critical of Republicans because I expect Democrats to do stupid stuff, I guess I hold Republicans to a higher standard because I know the virtues they used to hold were right, and I want them to return to those days.

At September 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM , Blogger LauraB said...

Aren't you ever happy Beth, I seem to remember you always talking about conservative values and principles such as being against abortion.
Well this women and her daughter are also against abortion and pro life, and they are taking lot of heat for it. So why not give them some credit for it.
Why not celebrate THEIR values?
Like I read somewhere here, is there really anyone that's perfect? Are you waiting for that someone?
Inquiring minds want to know.

At September 3, 2008 at 12:27 PM , Blogger Beth said...

I never said anything against their family standing behind their daughter's decision to keep her baby, it is very commendable indeed. I have great respect for people who are pro-life and don't just pay it lip service. That is not the point. As I said at my blog, put yourself in the shoes of a 17 year old girl who is pregnant and planning to get married. That is a hard enough situation to deal with for anybody, even with the full support of your family. Not impossible, but not an easy situation to be in. Doesn't anybody see her mother compounding this difficulty by making it all a very public event? I find it very unfair of her mother to do that to her.

Is it wrong to bring a private matter into the public forum for scrutiny? You bet, but its not like it hasn't happened before and like its not going to happen in the future. So let's not pretend what we'd like for the world to be like and what it actually IS get in the way of our judgments.

Anyway, I did say I will reserve further judgment pending Sarah Palin's speech tonight. Not sure how she can do it, but I am willing to be open minded.

I am not going to apologize for my views as a mother on this issue. I would never put my career ahead of my daughter, never.

At September 3, 2008 at 1:09 PM , Anonymous Throwing Stones said...

The title of this blog is "Defending Palin"
And that is exactly what I intend to do.

Palin is indeed a great choice, for many reasons. First and foremost, she seems to be a pretty staunch conservative, and I do like her particular disdain for corruption, pork, and the "ol' boy" club that comprises alot of politics these days.

Secondly, with her as VP, it gives the republican party someone to pass the torch on to, so to speak. McCain is likely going to be a one term President, willingly or otherwise. Presumably, Palin aspires to, or at least will consider when the time comes, higher office and continued involvement in national politics. As I posted elsewhere, the possibilities are delicious. And she is young enough to be a powerful force in the Republican party for years or decades to come. She is visible enough to bring our other staunch conservatives, to encourage new people to seek office so we don't have to pick between recycled has-beens.

Thirdly, she puts the democrats in a bind. Republicans are taking away the talking points of the left. Republicans are sexist, so we put a woman in the running for the top seat. Republicans are racist, which is why Bobby Jindal (among others) is a rising star in the republican party. Republicans are hateful and exclusionary, which is why we could see another mass defection from the democrat party as we saw in '80 with the Reagan democrats - and they will welcome them not just for their votes. Republicans are anti-union, yet Palin is a union member. Republicans are against the common man, yet Palin's husband is a blue collar fisherman and does common man things like snowmobile racing. And he is at least part Eskimo, which makes him a minority. Nobody will have to question Palin's support of the military, as she has a son in the Army.

And the big thing I noticed, was the difference between the speeches of Obama and of Palin. Obama (and others of his ilk) made sweeping promises and spouted about things they will do - scant little to nothing about things they have done. Palin talked of things she has done, and didn't make alot of promises about things she will do. Actions speak louder than words, Palin has a solid, verifiable track record of success. Obama has nothing, and Biden has a solid track record of failure.

Things seem to be coming together - more people are seeing Obama for the empty suit he seems to be. And Mccain, while no doubt he pisses me off alot, is capable and willing to do the right thing when it is needed.

I had already come to the conclusion that I would vote for McCain, because Obama is becoming more disgusting every day, what with his associations with felons and domestic terrorists. But now, now I may actually be able to do so without having to hold my nose In fact I will be very proud to cast MY vote for John Mccain.. There are things I can vote FOR him on, rather than just casting a vote against Obama
That is my case.
Now to answer your weak and disturbing post.
How the heck can you say that you’ll be open minded after this closed minded post?
She didn’t bring a private matter into the public forum for scrutiny, she only accepted the nomination form John McCain a guy you don’t like and no matter what he or she does you won’t have a open mind about it at all.
YOU reserve further judgment! How about her judgement? She has the right to make her own judgement as much as you do.

At September 3, 2008 at 1:42 PM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Oh, by the way, Ann Dunham Obama gave birth to Barack when she was 18.

At September 3, 2008 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Kris said...

my biggest issue is that we have not been as critical about obama's background. what about his attachment with a so-called terrorist. what about his questionable buying of a house scandle? what about his preacher? for 20 yrs? what does this say about his character? why isn't the main stream media getting down and dirty about even one of these issues. Any one of the three is worse and a bigger story that a pregnant 17 yr old.

we need to see why these issues are new and obama's dirty laundry is not. the left and the left media are biased. they want him in and the rep. ticket out. the American people need to stop begin sheep and see things for how they are.


At September 3, 2008 at 3:29 PM , Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Kris, because they are so damn interested in blasting Sarah's daughter.

At September 3, 2008 at 7:05 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

lets hope she shines tonight!

At September 4, 2008 at 7:10 AM , Blogger Kris said...

she did not dissapoint...


At September 4, 2008 at 2:40 PM , Blogger Victor's Voice said...

WomanHonorThyself said...
lets hope she shines tonight!

Oh did she shine!

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