More Sarah Palin!!


More Sarah Palin-themed joy, and not even AIP- or baby-related. (I think she’s marvellous.) This, from 2006:

Q: Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

PALIN: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was composed — is that the right word? — in 1892, and the words “under God” added in the 1950s. [via]

26 thoughts on “More Sarah Palin!!”

  1. Isn’t the pledge of allegiance therefore in direct violation of the constitutional separation of church and state?

    has there ever been a case of this taken to the supreme court on those grounds?

  2. Needless to say, as the lone Catholic falangist here, Idig Sarah Palin too.
    I personally think that the Divine Sarahs comment is almost reminiscent of the words of twenties Texas governor “Ma” Ferguson. When a bill was proposed to strengthen foriegn language instruction in the schools, “Ma” asserted “If English was good enough for our Lord Jesus Christ,its good enough for the people of Texas!”

  3. There is a wonderful-at least, wonderful to my eccentric way of thinking, web-site called Thunderstruck(not to be confused with the song by AC-DC:-)) ( subtitled A Truck Stop For the Soul, run by an Evangelical Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash enthusiast, theologian and Popular culture maven of “crunchy con” views named Steve Beard.Todays issue contain links to alot of fascinating commentary and news storieson Palin fom all over the ideological spectrum.Of course, most of them are from the center or the right, but theyre still interesting.
    One tidbit which ifound wonderful was her nickname when she played High School basketball-“Sarah Barracuda”.
    I think the Vice presidential debates will be entertainig to say the least. I.for one want to see Sarah Barracuda sink her teeth into the plagiarist windbag. That is, if Bidens opening statement in the debate doesnt stretch out for a full hour.

  4. The most entertaining thing I’ve seen so far is Cindy McCain’s assertion that Sarah Palin will be good on foreign policy because Alaska is close to Russia…

  5. It’s also reported that when she became mayor she asked the local librarian how one might go about banning books.
    She really is charming. But not to be underestimated, I think. Like the current occupant of the White House, she makes up for her intellectual limitations (and fringe-righty views) with a knack for somehow winning elections. And after the last two elections, I don’t trust my countrymen to prefer thoughtfulness to faux-populist baloney.

  6. Josh at the risk of repeating almost wholesale a remark I made on another blog, see Andrew Sullivan.

    She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.
    While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

    It seems that bad things are being said about Sarah Palin by Republicans – because she broke Reagan’s 11th Commandment (“Never speak ill of a fellow Repubican”) first. I cannot, however, believe the story from last night’s C4 news email, “Turns out that McCain Googled her [Palin] before making the appointment.” I thought McCain didn’t know how to use the internet.

  7. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

    Oddly, that’s pretty much how it worked when I was a librarian.

  8. “do gangs of Republicans usually wear cowboy hats at conventions?”
    They generally do if they’re from Texas; otherwise, not sure.


    “And it’s [getting the date of the Pledge of Allegiance wrong] also the sort of mistake that many people can imagine themselves making and thus forgive someone else for making.”

    That’s you told Chris! Even if it’s not the sort of mistake you’d make, and rather than patronising politicians, you probably expect them to know things like that.

  10. There’s something true here, though. The Republicans pretty much consciously run on a platform of “we don’t care if you’re ignorant, cause we’re ignorant too”. It’s a hugely potent approach, it accounts for the success of the Sun and the direction of British politics in the last thirty years and it has the enormous advantage of enabling the Right to pose as anti-elitists because the elitism referred to is an educational rather than an economic one.

    I don’t think there’s anything to be gained from trying to ape that approach (well, there’s plenty to be gained for individual Democrat or New Labour politicians, but I don’t care about them, or for them) but it is really hard to undercut it if what passes for the politicians pof the left are so overwhelmingly metropolitan, wealthy and professional-class. I am pretty much with Thomas Franks on this.

    Re: getting the dates wrong, I don’t think it’s getting them “wrong” that matters so much as presenting mythology as fact.

  11. The trouble with Frank’s book (which I really enjoyed), is there’s little evidence beyond the anecdotal that what’s he’s describing actually affects national elections. Poorer and less well educated voters have not been abandoning the Democrats over the last fifty years, outside the South, contrary to everything he implies in his book, and polling data strongly suggests that those poorer or less well educated voters see themselves as to the right of the Democrats they vote for on economic issues. pdf]

    It’s true that the Dems do badly in the South, but that’s owing to an utterly distinctive political history that has far more to do with race than with the perceived elitism of the Dems, and if the Dems cultivated the kind of dog-whistle political to get white Southerners back onside, they’d start losing votes from among black voters, which would be an appalling strategy. It may be that in Presidential politics, other things being equal, Democratic governors of Southern states like Carter or Clinton make the best candidates, because they put chunks of the South into play. But (a) they never are equal and (b) that’s not much to do with what Frank is arguing.

    On the pledge of allegiance: what’s interesting, I think, is the way in which conservatives always talk about traditional values stretching back into history, but what they mean are the values that obtained during their childhood. So Palin projects the Pledge of Allegiance of the mid-1950s back onto the founding fathers, just as Mrs Thatcher repackaged the East Midlands petty bourgeois values she grew up with in 1930s Grantham as far more heroic-sounding “Victorian values”, with which they didn’t have a great deal in common.

  12. and if the Dems cultivated the kind of dog-whistle political to get white Southerners back onside

    I think this is the crux: that’s what’s always claimed would be necessary, so you end up with a debate between the Dems who are prepared to do it and the Dems who find it too distasteful. Either way there’s the assumption that you have to choose between using the dog-whistle on one hand and abandoning that constituency on the other, and if that’s really so then I see no point in political involvement whatsoever.

    I think the Democratic Party stinks, by and large: I think it’s corrupt and cynical and arrogant. I also think there is an elitist side to it, which is a metropolitan professional-class elitism:
    people who are very sure that they are the most enlightended people in the world and also very sure that they are the most deserving people in the world who should be at the front of the queue for everything. Every country has these people (you can recognise them, actually, not least by their strong identification with the US Democratic Party no matter where they personally are from) and I don’t think they’re really part of old-fashioned liberalism in the sense of Keynes or Galbraith: not least because of their enthusiasm for tax cuts and their disdain (or distaste) for trades unionism. Politically as elsewhere, they expect everybody else to do what they say and they assume that what’s good for them is what’s good for everybody else: and yet, for all their supposed enlightenment, there’s not a principle they won’t drop if they think their career might be at stake.

    Now to say so is not to say that some non-existent leftwing alternative would fare better electorally, or that the people who vote Republican against them are secretly thirsting for aforesaid alternatives. And of course it’s true that the elitism charge is largely bogus when laid by the people who lay it: what might be true is that most Republican voters on good incomes (which is nearly all of them) do not derive those incomes from the fact of their education, which is an impotrant difference in forming one’s experiences and viewpoint.

    Even so, there is much truth in the charge (which was laid by John Prescott in the Lanchester LRB piece you discussed some weeks ago) that contemporary political life is something from which people of working-class station are almost entirely absent, and that a lot of Democratic/New Labour insiders are very content with that, because they are insiders, because they are largely composed of personal ambition and wish to see politics composed of people who share their motivations and values. I dislike these people instinctively (as they would dislike me) because I think they have a disdain for the unsuccessful, which is most of us. And while the Democrats may require the votes of the unsuccessful, that is all it wants from them. Not their voices, not even their money. It’s a party for the successful and their backscratchers, basically a rock ‘n’ roll band and their entourage, and that’s a real elitism, not a perceived one.

  13. … and abandoning that constituency on the other…

    But if the constituency is Southern whites who aren’t especially happy with the post-Jim Crow order, and you can win a Presidential election without getting a single electoral college vote from any of the states of the old Confederacy, then it isn’t such a tough choice, and it’s not obvious why it makes sense to abandon politics in the face of that choice. In the 1960s the Democrats finally did the right thing and sacrificed their political hegemony in the South for the sake of civil rights for black Americans. The Republican domination of Southern politics, and the accompanying Southernification of the Republicans themselves, is a fairly natural consequence of that momentous transformation (insofar as anything in politics is natural). These are fundamental elements of the basic architecture of political competition in America today, and they need to be acknowledged for what they are and where they come from, not washed away in a story about Dem elitism, the “heartland”, failure to communicate “values”, etc.

    (Having said that, I agree with a lot of what you’ve written in the rest of that comment, and I don’t like the Democrats much, either, except as being preferable – quite a bit preferable, these days – to the alternatives.)

  14. it’s not obvious why it makes sense to abandon politics in the face of that choice

    Because if I’m obliged to choose between either pandering to working-class racism or not having anything to do with the people concerned, then there’s nothing much left I’d like to do. (Actually, there isn’t anyway – a few years ago I consciously decided I wouldn’t be politically active any more, and I’m not.) Any politics that I understand has to go beyond liberal professional people talking to one another.

  15. Neither am I and haven’t claimed there is. But it’s surely the working-class component of aforesaid Southern white demographic that anyone on the left would be specifically interested in having something to say to.

  16. Sure, but while that obviously matters a huge amount for local parties in local races, state races, etc., inside unions and community groups and so on in these places, given that we are where we are, it’s not at all stupid that in the national quadrennial Presidential race, the Dems don’t make a particular effort to go after the votes of poorer Southern whites. They’d be mad to.

  17. It’s not just votes, it’s opinions I’m interested in. And I don’t agree. I think that if you write people off at election time, people get the message that they don’t matter. Elections aren’t just about their outcomes, important though they be, and parties aren’t just about elections.

    The Dems would piss me off if they assumed my vote* was theirs, but they would piss me off also if they assumed my vote was of no consequence or interest to them. I find either approach disrespectful.

    [* not that I possess one, of course]

  18. And the election isn’t just the Presidential election this year — two-thirds of the states have a Senate seat up for grabs, and the entire House will be elected. And, thanks to Howard Dean’s “fifty state” strategy the Dems are campaigning seriously in many more districts than they did, say, ten years ago. And that strategy is paying off: they took the House last time, no one thinks they’re going to lose it these time (even if Obama screws up the Presidential race), and they are almost bound to pick up more Senate seats this time round. So you should be pleased…

  19. I doubt that I’ll stay awake for long enough to be pleased or otherwise. The length of the campaign is just one of the aspects in which far from the rest of the world copying US democracy, the rest of the world has chosen not to.

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