palin culture

It seems like the afterglow of Sarah Palin’s performance wore off pretty quickly – the pundits may have liked it, but the bloggers didn’t; the polls were against her and the internet quickly pointed out her weaknesses – the Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart started making the rounds right off the bat – I must have seen it in half a dozen places, including facebook, my mailbox and the comments section here. Sure, that doesn’t mean it reflects everyone’s opinion, but at least, plenty of people were Not Impressed.

The other thing I found weird, though, was the way she didn’t seem to be all that conservative. She was weak to me for being incompetent, but I wonder if she will still seem strong to the base, considering that she hasn’t fired up the god-talk or the pro-life talk or much else to really get them going, and it seems as if she’s given a few to the lefties. I mean, ok, she did a little “drill baby drill” talk, but it wasn’t all that convincing without a room full of followers to chant with her, especially when Biden had the numbers to back up why the whole idea was stupid. (speaking of, the Economist has a funny moment in this trying to parse that interchange in the debate..)

But she agreed with Obama/Biden on the rights of gay couples to have basic recognition as legitimate civil unions, even if not passing that religious barrier of “marriage” (but that just shows it’s a question of social evolution – who can imagine either party even mentioning gay rights so straightforwardly 20 years ago?).

And as I said below, in the Couric interview, she talked a lot about “choice” when it came to abortion, about the importance of “choosing life”: but not the legal necessity of barring people from having the option of murdering their unborn child or anything like that. She was pretty soft on abortion, it seemed to me, if it’s gonna be a one-issue thing. Maybe that’s what contemporary conservatives are like, but I wondered if she satisfied the base.

And on banking, she seemed to be pretty pro-regulation, and on global warming she seemed ok with stopping emissions, at least in theory, so where was the conservative base stuff? Just the same as McCain, it seemed – the differences were the war, taxes, energy policy, and budget stuff (education, health care)… not the social issues or religious stuff. Or perhaps it’s just having the fake smile and the wink, in the end – Reagan never did anything in particular for the base either, I guess… hmm. I still feel like he was better at dressing up his answers, but I was too young to be paying close attention so I’m just making assumptions.

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9 Responses to “palin culture”

  1. Burr Deming Says:

    Governor Palin did very well for herself.

    Joe Biden merely did well for Obama.

    But I have not yet heard anyone from any side express any concern about the most dangerous possibility if Governor Palin is elected to national office.

  2. rushmc Says:

    I thought this was a pretty good analysis of their positions on the gay rights issues:

    http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid62946.asp

    It seems to me that you are missing a lot of the codespeak on the part of the Republicans as they try to signal their base without triggering a backlash among undecideds. I will admit that Palin seemed to use a lot less of it than I would have expected, particularly if she was chosen as a sop to the right-wing nuts, but it was there nonetheless.

  3. peacay Says:

    The debate was aimed at undecideds. Rallies are for the faithful. And interviews are for……..avoiding.

  4. drinkme Says:

    hm, though it seems like she got a little caught in the net of Biden saying “so you agree” and even Gwen Ifill saying, “so since you two agree”, and not being able to clarify the way in which her position was more traditional. And perhaps she was also just unable to articulate the subtle nuances that make her position “pro-life” when interviewed by Couric.

    On one hand that seems to loosen the distinctions, but I guess all that really matters is who they nominate to the court, and they probably feel secure enough about that.. (although perhaps even what the nominees will do is not as controllable as they might like… everything is nuance rather than direct legislation these days)

  5. rushmc Says:

    This is some of the best background on Palin that I’ve seen:

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n19/print/raba01_.html

  6. drinkme Says:

    you know, in thinking about it I wonder if the right wing’s secret is just that the base is more faithful – they know their guy is “really” on their side, and so look for the little clues, hints, and nods that confirm it, and the pseudo middle-roadish stuff all looks like bullshit pandering for votes, that they take in stride since they know it’s for a good cause.

    Whereas, the lefties get all shifty and nervous when their guy starts talking middle-roadish, and even when he throws them his hints and cues and whatnot, too many of us freak out and start thinking, shit, these guys are all the same, aren’t they, it doesn’t matter, nevermind, I’ll just vote third party, or stay home and sulk!

    Not that I’m doing that :). Still, I feel like I have no faith at all that any candidate is “really” any particular way, and when they start sounding different, how do I know who the “real” version is? While it seems like it’s more black & white for Repubs somehow.

  7. rushmc Says:

    I’d say that’s an important difference between between “conservative” and “liberal” worldviews. One is “us-vs-them,” in-group vs. outsiders, and the other is based upon a knowledge of human psychology and behavior. At least to enough of a degree that it’s worth noting.

  8. rushmc Says:

    I don’t know if this analysis of her gobbledy-gook is correct. It’s too scattered for me to parse. If it is, however, it’s quite disturbing. What do you make of it?

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/5/213123/964/231/621158

  9. drinkme Says:

    wow, that is freaky. Again it just seems like she hardly has any understanding of a core set of beliefs or where she really stands on anything…

    I mean, as you say, it’s impossible to figure out what she’s trying to say to begin with, but to allow that much that could be understood as dismissing the constitution seems to show she’s proud of being an American because she was born here, a Republican because those around her are, etc, not due to any reflection (not to say most of us don’t get a start based on environment, but one hopes at least there’s a period of reconsideration and self-assessment)

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