October 10, 2008

What's wrong with troopergate

OK, so now we know that Sarah Palin is clearly in line with the Bush Doctrine, even if she doesn't have a clue what it is.


Welcome to the newest episode in presidential politics, troopergate!

The Republican party is so good at Bush Doctrine tactics that they even use them in the campaign itself.  Yesterday, the McCain campaign released their own report on the topic, clearly saying--and thereby proving--that the investigation had been tainted by partisan politics.  (The "proof" was pretty much self creating because they never said which party infused the situation with partisan politics.)  Score one for pre-emptive diplomacy.

This whole situation has me disappointed with the McCain/Palin ticket, though.  Not because Sarah Palin let her redneck, stalker husband use her power to settle his personal vendetta.  Not because she's an amoral, self-serving nitwit.  Not because McCain picked her on a whim, which is presumably how he'll handle every major decision (remember he canceled half the Republican convention when the hurricanes hit a different part of the country, and he canceled his entire campaign when the totally unforeseen financial crisis hit).  After all, he's a maverick, and mavericks shoot first and ask later.  Boom!  The Bush Doctrine at its finest.

No, I am disappointed for two reasons.

First, if McCain had any balls at all, he'd declare everyone involved in investigating Palin "enemy combatants" and disappear them to Guantanamo Bay.  Why not?  It's not that big a step from firing someone you don't like to entirely destroying them.

Second, the whole Alaska thing is bush league.  (Not Bush league.  Bush is a real pro at this stuff.)  McCain could take some lessons from guys like Somoza, Pinochet, and others.  Todd Palin is a small time thug in a small time town in a B movie.  By picking Palin, McCain shows that he has no imagination.  That's not kicking ass.  That's playground bully.

I find it distressing that our top candidates are nothing better than what you might find in Empire Falls.  The whole world is paying attention to four people, and one of them is nothing more than a caricature, a punchline.  I'm beginning to think McCain picked her not because she's a woman but because he knew that he needed something--anything--that he could look better than.

12 comments:

Tiffany said...

Thanks for the link to the Troopergate article - it's an interesting read and I think says a lot of Palin's (lack of) character.

Troopergate reminds me of a KGB operation - if someone doesn't do what you want - you go after him personally. It also brings to mind the Bush administration's revenge against Joe Wilson through his wife Valerie Plame.

I just want smart people in the White House, leaders who have its citizen's best interests at heart - not their own. Is that too much to ask?

Although I'm not one of these people who think Obama is the second coming, I do think he will be a good president, will restore dignity to our executive branch and repair our reputation abroad.

freddie said...

I don't think it will have much effect on the election, unfortunately. The pundits can speculate all they want (and I'm talking CNN, MSNBC and so forth—not us, LOL). I think her followers will still follow and the RNC will spin this as a partisan witch-hunt. Indeed, McCain already has.

With independents, I think it's a different story. People are really scared right now. And I think a lot people are getting frocking sick of feeling this way.

Great post, Pete!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Sad but true. And so not needing embellishment from me.

Great post!

Merge Divide said...

"OK, so now we know that Sarah Palin is clearly in line with the Bush Doctrine, even if she doesn't have a clue what it is."


I've reached a similar conclusion for different reasons.

"We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

-George W. Bush, September 20, 2001 address to the United States Congress.

I think that all political observers that accused Sarah Palin of not knowing about the Bush Doctrine need to reassess their beliefs. She may not have been able to communicate the principles intelligibly, but she has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she has internalized an understanding of the tactics that the approach involves. The McCain/Palin ticket are simply applying the Bush Doctrine to its political opponent. The accusations that Palin and McCain are making by insinuation have very real consequences, and they need to be held accountable for them.

Read SERENDIPITY.

Robin S. said...

To be honest, I don't think either side is precious and special. I agree with these thoughts, AND I think the other side sucks as well.

Obama didn't dump his preacher until it became politically expedient to do so. How do we know what he really thinks about the spew coming from the man's mouth? How do we know he only pulled away - not from a moral perspective, but because he needed to in order to win? And then there's the recent Muslim outreach - no problem with that, in theory - however, the outreach 'reached out' to people with extremist ties. Think about it.
If a white guys had done either of these things - had a preacher who vilified blacks or other minorities, etc. - he'd be fucking toast.

I think it's important to remember that just because someone says they are a Democrat- that doesn't by definition make them believable, accessible and empowered with integrity.

The whole thing makes me sick.

Merge Divide said...

"Obama didn't dump his preacher until it became politically expedient to do so."

I'm still waiting for John McCain to denounce its unwholesome relationship with G. Gordon Liddy. Where's the moral outrage and cries of conspiracy from the Right regarding mainstream media's suppression of this story?

Read the nasty details in THIS LINK to an article from May.

freddie said...

Obama didn't dump his preacher until it became politically expedient to do so. How do we know what he really thinks about the spew coming from the man's mouth? How do we know he only pulled away - not from a moral perspective, but because he needed to in order to win? And then there's the recent Muslim outreach - no problem with that, in theory - however, the outreach 'reached out' to people with extremist ties. Think about it.
If a white guys had done either of these things - had a preacher who vilified blacks or other minorities, etc. - he'd be fucking toast.


Robin, the first thing I have to say is, I love you, so I hope you don't mind my respectfully disagreeing.

You're right. A white guy wouldn't survive the connection to a racist preacher. But a white guy wouldn't be subjected to rumors that he's really a Muslim terrorist, either. His degree of "Americaness" (for lack of a better word) wouldn't be questioned because he lived in Hawaii and was raised by his grandparents. So I guess there's a trade-off. I mean, people have believed the shittiest things about Obama without a shred of evidence. Hell, my conservative uncle just told my mother today—with a straight face—that Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis was titled "Whitey." (It wasn't. It was titled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.")

I think Obama was really between a rock and a hard place with the preacher thing. He was (and still is) battling rumors of being Muslim (and to a certain percentage of the population that really means "terrorist"—as evidenced by the lovely people yelling it at McCain rallies). I think this was the reason he was reluctant to part ways at first. Sure, it was politically motivated, but what should he have done? I mean, no matter how racist a preacher is, it's still better than people believing you're going to turn your Christian population over to Muslims once you get elected to office. (Yes, this is going around the conservative blogs.) And besides, I'm not going to hold Obama responsible for things he hasn't said (and has actually renounced). I'd rather not speculate where there's no real proof except guilt by association.

I don't know anyone who thinks Obama is the second coming of Christ—myself included. But he does have a longer history here in Illinois, and it's by and large a good history. Obama is smart and has a willingness to admit mistakes, which appeals to me more than this blundering around McCain and Palin do. More importantly, I think Obama aims to make decisions in a way that prevents mistakes. And with things having dried up like a piece of beef jerky in the noonday sun for me jobwise, that appeals to me.

That all said, I gotta give McCain a little credit for trying to tamper the racist crap at his rallies. But his hands aren't exactly clean.

Hope you don't mind my disagreeing with you on this, Robin. I've just done a lot of thinking on this. I love you!!

blogless troll said...

Hell, my conservative uncle just told my mother today—with a straight face—that Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis was titled "Whitey."

I'm neither a racist nor a devotee of either political party, but that's hilarious.

Robin S. said...

Of COURSE you can disagree with me, freddie!

I'm not a fan of either party because I'm a moderate person politically - I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I don't like people expecting handouts and calling their wlefare checks their 'paychecks' (which, last time I looked, you have to fucking WORK for). On the other hand (same me, different hand) I don't like dickwads who treat the truly disenfranchised as though they didn't exist - literally walk past them and ignore them.

I straddle both sides of most arguments - because I truly feel that the more strident one argues (sorry 'merge divide', I don't know who you are, but your instant neener-neener comeback qualifies)- the less likely they are to be truly working toward getting to the heart of the matter, and instead, simply working to be 'right'.

I'm not a fan of that attitude.

So- I wish we didn't have such a divided populace - each side has some good points - not the candidates, the 'sides'. And each side has some stupid-assed positions.

My point about Obama was simply to mention that political expediency flows from both sides.

But freddie- I never mind disagreement, you sweetie. I simply want to be able to do the same! One of the problems we have in this country right now, in my opinion, is the self-righteous attitude of 'I know the way', and if you're not with me 1oo%, you're wrong wrong wrong.

What's funny about that is - it's an attitude quite a bit like a group that I find, to be delicate, truly distasteful- the religious right (in any religion). As an atheist, they make my skin crawl.

pjd said...

When I was in high school and was still too young to vote, it was de riguer to loathe both parties' candidates and speak often about the lesser of two evils. That was fun. It was easy.

As young adults and through the 90s it was popular to claim you would vote for the best candidate, regardless of party. That, too, was bullshit, but it was easy and fun.

The country is divided not because of political parties or their candidates; the parties and candidates reflect the country's divisions. We are divided in many ways--race, economic situation, geography, industry, heritage, religion, education. The nature of our government, at its very roots, is to combine popular choice with protection of the minority. We vote, which means majority (mostly) rules; the checks and balances in government, and the Bill of Rights, are designed to counterbalance that so that the majority does not overrun and destroy the many minority voices in our population.

But our two-party system artificially divides us into left and right, blue and red, Republican and Democrat. And what those stand for shifts over time.

In the past 30 years, my perception is that the Republican party has gone from a "live and let live" rugged individualism to a Christian fundamentalist "with us or with the terrorists" mindset. This may be why so many Republicans openly pine for the days of Reagan and conveniently forget his faults.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have struggled to find any identity, surviving primarily on the charisma of Bill Clinton and the atrocious incompetence of the Republicans. In failing to brand themselves, they have allowed the Republicans to brand them--weak on terror, tax-and-spend, anti-family, anti-morality. (The irony as I see it, of course, is that the Democrats want to be the party of inclusion, and you can't have a strong brand while including everyone. Thus Joe Biden's apparent wishy washy--but logically complete--answer to the gay marriage question in the debate.)

But back to my point: I can understand why people refuse to select one over the other, and I can understand why people rail against the two-party system and in particular the two parties we have. There's little to debate about whether the parties are run by special interest groups or have career politicians at their helms. In a way, it's like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. Both rot your teeth and make you fat.

On the other hand, I think it's the ultimate cop-out to claim anti-allegiance to everything, and I refuse to follow that path. Is Obama all he says he is? Ah, probably not. But is he likely to push for an anti-gay constitutional amendment? Is he more or less likely to invest heavily in alternative energy? Is he more or less likely to commit our troops overseas? Is he more or less likely to have a positive impact on our educational system, our reputation internationally, our national morale (note, not "national morality")? Or do you think John McCain is more likely to keep us safe and secure, return the economy to world dominance, keep the country on the moral straight and narrow?

You know where I stand.

freddie said...

Only reason I asked (okay, I said it twice, so it was annoying) was that politics is such a touchy subject these days.

As an atheist, they make my skin crawl.

Yep, yep. *nods* And I'm not talking all Christians, mind you. Just the intolerant ones.

writtenwyrdd said...

I was reading the articles on this and I have to say that there's more to it than the issue of firing that fella for not firing the trooper (who admitted he did some of the things on camera). But it struck me as politics-as-usual when both sides claimed they were proven right by the probe's verdict. *eye roll*

I used to like McCain's integrity somewhat, but this campaign and Palin have put me off. It's so schoolyard bullyish!

Obama is at least giving a hopeful message and comes across as dignified in his approach.