She delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment

Quote of the Day for Friday, September 9th, 2011: Anand Giridharadas, writing in the NY Times on Sarah Palin’s speech at a TEA Party event in Iowa last week: Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it. That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer? Sure. A woman of the people? Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha. But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea ...

Vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 12th, 2011: New York Times columnist David Brooks, in a too-rare moment of lucidity, commenting Monday on the despicable liberal media spin on the Giffords shooting: Keith Olbermann demanded a Palin repudiation and the founder of the Daily Kos wrote on Twitter: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” Others argued that the killing was fostered by a political climate of hate. These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are extremely grave. … The...

Free Speech and the Peaceful Public Order

I arrived home from my sister Mary’s funeral Saturday evening, and saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several other people had been shot during some kind of meet-and-greet in her congressional district. I’d never heard of Giffords, but was discouraged that such a thing would happen – it’s hard enough just given our political process to get good people to run for public office, and it was of course a terrible tragedy for the people involved. It seemed to me that it had been a long time since something like that had happened. As I read t...

Sarah Palin as Cultural Metaphor

Quote of the day for Tuesday, December 7th, 2010: Timothy Dalrymple, posting at Patheos yesterday on the meaning and underlying cause of what he calls “Palin Enragement Syndrome”: [M]uch of the opposition to Palin is not political. It is deeply and thoroughly cultural. Sarah Palin is Miss Jesusland, the living emblem and foremost representative of an America that progressive elites had hoped had been swept into the dustbin of history. One definition of culture is “the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group.” Palin represents...

Victory & Grace: A Contrast in both Style & Substance

There are lots of good reasons why lots of good people deeply dislike long-time U.S. Congressman Barney Frank; so many that exposing his victory speech this Tuesday night seems a bit like piling on. Yet, there it stands: a testimony to his character. Sore losers can be embarrassing enough, but what to make of such a sore winner? http://www.youtube.com/v/KkRr0PM3CEQ?fs=1&hl=en_US&hl=en<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1"/> Here is Frank in full Barney mode: self-serving, self-pitying, self-absor...

RNC Night 3: Sarah Barracuda Night

Watching the Republican convention last night, I was struck by how poorly some of the speeches were delivered. I’m not saying this to pick on the Republicans – this seems to be a general malaise in our political system. Admittedly, I tuned in and out early the evening, but I was not impressed with what I heard. I couldn’t even listen to GOPAC chairman Michael Steele, who’s supposed to be good at this kind of thing. Then, the ranting guy who looked so much like Mitt Romney – well, I’m not sure what was up with him. But ...

McCain/Palin ’08? I Can Live With That

Sarah Palin? Even if I had known who she was, I don’t think I would have seen that coming. I had been hearing the whispers of Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman as possibilities, and saw how McCain’s logic might have steered him toward them. He’s never really been conservative, and has always been ready to play the maverick, and I could see how he might consider the constituency-broadening appeal of a pro-choice running mate. I hate to say it, but I don’t think the prospect of a pro-choice VP would have concerned McCain. And it would hav...