Friday, August 29, 2008

The Real Reformers

Sarah Palin is a very good choice as McCain's VP. I am relieved that he didn't pick Lieberman or Ridge, but Palin is a gutsy choice that should appeal to conservatives, Hillary supporters, and independents (anybody else McCain should be targeting?). Palin is wildly popular in Alaska (80-90% approval ratings), she's a fiscal and social conservative who has had no problems taking on her own party in Alaska over issues of wasteful spending and dependence on the federal government. She's pro-life, the youngest of her five children has Downs Syndrome, which is an interesting contrast with Obama's view that Downs babies that survive an abortion don't have human rights. She snowmobiles and hunts moose! She used to be a commercial fisherwoman! What more do you want, blue-collar and Mountain West people?

Palin should fit nicely into a "Reform" message for McCain. They are both mavericks who have taken political risks by bucking their own party to do what they think is best for the country. Obama also claims to be a reformer, although McCain should do more to highlight his record in the state senate and as a US Senator. Obama was 100% lined up with the dirtiest politicians in all the land. He never once crossed anyone in the Chicago Machine. Even when he had the opportunity to support a liberal Democrat, Forrest Claypool, for Cook County Board President, a candidate that pledged to end the cronyism, corruption and extortion, he instead backed Todd Stroger, the son of the previous president. With Obama's support, Stroger won the primary by 7% of the vote. Stroger has wasted no time, he's increased the sales tax to 10.25%, laid off hundreds of nurses, and cut 43 prosecutors, all so he can hire more friends and family to high paying, do-nothing jobs.

Picking Biden brought Obama down a few points in the polls, but he's certain to get a few points following the convention. Palin's a sure thing to give McCain a couple points back. Now the only thing that can possibly hold the McCain/Palin ticket back is the incredible number of sexists in this country.


Tom said...

Senator McCain was a maverick. Candidate McCain is a knee-jerk Republican. His voting record has grown closer to Bush's as the years have progressed. Other than the facts, good luck with promoting McCain's refomer/maverick whatever identity.

Palin absolutely does not appeal to Hillary supporters. You think so simply because she's a woman? You think Hillary supporters will like her pro-life message? Her wanting creationism taught in public schools? Her questioning whether global warming is man-made? The fact that she is being investigated after being governer for 20 months? Not terribly compelling reasons for that crowd.

Picking Palin is throwing a hail mary for McCain. It contrasts directly with two of his biggest themes thus far: experience and country first. This pick was all about trying to contain the momentum from the Democratic convention. It has everything to do with trying to keep the race competitive and very little to do with governing. Seriously you think she is anywhere near qualified to be the VP? I read somewhere that as the director of the Alaska National Guard, and because she has a son headed to Iraq that she knows full well the importance of supporting out troops. I honestly thought that was a joke, but apparently it was not.

You also forgot to mention that a couple months ago Palin said she has not been focused on Iraq but on her state. Kind of inspires confidence in her foreign policy credentials doesn't it?

Palin feels like a desperate move to me. McCain barely knows her. Nobody hardly knows her. I look forward to the post-selection vetting process. I'm quite certain I don't want a cranky 72 year-old who has botched this decision so badly running the country.

You like Palin over Romney? Seriously? Romney at least brought some business/economic credentials to the table, which McCain clearly needs. He also MAY have helped in Michigan. Palin does neither of those things. At least those 2 Alaska delegates are nailed down though.

Rudi said...

Three observations (1 real, 2 for fun):

I was rooting for Romney... but maybe this works even better (and allows Romney to shine by himself in the future).

I'm afraid that dyslexics might confuse this candidate with the novel, "Sarah Plain (and tall)."

I am officially changing the Republican ticket from being called "McCain/Palin" to "John/Sarah"... I have a friend that would get a real kick out of that.

Bobby said...

I think the first commentator has some valid points. It's intensely naive to think that Hillary supporters will all the sudden support Palin because she's a woman. That is the only common attribute between them and while I believe our electorate is pretty ignorant, this is about as superficial of a characteristic as they come.

Weren't you a pretty big Romney supporter? Why wouldn't you want him as a VP if you wanted him as a President? I think party loyalty can be pretty blinding and it's been interesting to see who steps out and and really challenges this decision within the party. It just reeks of desperation to me and I don't even think McCain's campaign was at a point where it need to risk it to this extent.

Rudi said...

I think that the second commentator had even better points.

Jon Vander Plas said...

Romney would have been a better choice, in terms of governance and perhaps in the election. However, Palin, as an energetic and articulate fiscal and social conservative, is, as I wrote, "a very good choice." I am mainly relieved that McCain didn't pick Lieberman or Ridge.

How can you say she won't appeal to some Hillary voters? Hillary dominated with blue collar voters put off by Obama's elitism and leftist ideology. These voters tend to be more socially conservative than other Democrats.

Isn't is amazing how much the liberal media hates Palin? Just as Clarence Thomas was the wrong kind of black man, she is the wrong kind of woman. A self-made, blue collar woman that doesn't support killing unborn babies? She is a traitor to her gender!

Palin is at least as experienced as Obama, plus she actually has executive experience. I would rather have an experienced president and less experienced VP than the other way around.

In addition to appealing to women and blue collar workers, Palin helps shore up the base for McCain. She will generate energy and enthusiasm for McCain's campaign.

Kyle Hommes said...

I don't understand how Obama is an elitist. Maybe I am just getting caught up in all of the "leftist" rhetoric, but it seems to me like he is trying to fight against elitism in the country by cracking down on corporations that pay their workers squat while the executives continue to make record salaries. All Obama talked about at the DNC was ending equality in the American marketplace. I don't see that as elitist.

As far as the McCain/Palin ticket combating sexism, I don't see it that way. It seems like McCain chose her solely because of she is a woman. Certainly there were other more qualified candidates. How is using Palin to get the Hillary vote fighting sexism? I don't see it.

Also, I heard that McCain actually wanted to choose Lieberman, but the Republican Party told him he couldn't. So, his first chance to be a maverick as the presidential candidate, he caved to his party.

Also, in your reply, you totally quoted Rush Limbaugh, with the whole wrong woman and wrong black man thing, which is pretty scary. He should never be quoted.

Jon Vander Plas said...

Kyle, good to hear your comments.

You seem to imply that the government should decide how much companies should pay their employees. This is called socialism or central planning and it has failed miserably every time it's been tried, making everyone much poorer in the process. The market will determine with great efficiency how much your skills and talents are worth. If a company over pays its executives they will be punished by the stock holders. Central planning destroys freedom.

As far as the elitist thing - what about saying that the reason rural Americans vote Republican is that they are bitter clingers to guns, God, and antipathy toward people who aren't like them? Marxism is about as elitist as you can get - believing you are smart enough to tell everyone else how to live their lives.

I made the comment about sexism as a joke, because people always say the only thing that can stop Obama is racism, not his leftist ideology.

You can't possibly argue that McCain isn't a maverick. He has crossed party lines to advance significant legislation more times than I can count. Look at Obama's VP pick, he chose one of the few Senators with a voting record more to the left than the only admitted socialist in the Senate, Bernie Sanders.

I didn't intentionally quote Rush, I never heard him say that. Perhaps I have internalized all of his wisdom, hee hee.

Kyle Hommes said...

I agree that many socialist states have failed, but some of what they are doing in Canada and Western and Northern European countries (which are not socialist states) helps people living in the country, for instance, socialized medicine, more vacation and sick leave, and a shorter work week. Strong government controls can benefit citizens. I think the government has been weakened too much. I mean they broke up standard oil and ma bell, but now companies are allowed to do whatever they want.

Yes, the free market has its benefits, but it also systematically keeps certain people (new immigrants, those in poverty) from climbing up the ladder. I just don't buy the whole trickle-down economics thing, I think the money gets clogged somewhere before it reaches the poor. My example of this is Walmart. They are praised by many economists for their productivity, but they pay their employees so little that many are on welfare or medicaid, which costs tax payers money. If the government stepped in somehow and placed regulations on industries, it may actually reduce the money spent on welfare and other social programs.

I guess I am just saying that I would trust the government to do what is right far before I would trust some corporation or the market.

Jon Vander Plas said...

The reason Walmart's employees work there is because it's the best job they could find. Walmart is not impoverishing these people, it is giving them a better job than they would have had otherwise. Walmart does so much for the poor - it saves the average family over $2000 a year, single handedly keeping down inflation (which allows interest rates to stay low) and allows more people to own their own home. That's great example of trickle-down economics if I've ever seen one. More regulation will only increase prices and destroy jobs.

Europe's unemployment rate is much higher than ours, their economic growth is much slower. Why would we want to be like them?

Capitalism is poverty's greatest enemy. It doesn't keep people down, it allows them to lift themselves up. Consider this study:

Between '95 and '05, 58% of those in the bottom quintile of earnings moved up at least one quintile. That's pretty impressive upward mobility.

Corporations only succeed by providing goods and services that people value. Consumers and employees engage in voluntary transactions that must benefit both parties. Saying you don't trust corporations is the same thing as saying you don't trust Americans to do what's in their own best interest.

Kyle Hommes said...

I do trust Americans to do what is in their own best interest, that is the problem. I want Americans to do what is in the best interest of others, and the whole world for that matter. American capitalism is built on inequality that keeps the economies of other countries from flourishing. I think that is a problem, not a strength. We need to start caring about someone other than ourselves.

You make a good point, though, capitalism does lead to the better living conditions, but I'm not sure it does it in a just way.

I'm starting to think you might be a Republican.

Jon Vander Plas said...

Not a Republican, Kyle. A conservative.

Capitalism is built on freedom. Everyone has different skills, abilities and work ethic. Therefore inequality results.

To quote Winston Churchill:
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

If capitalism is so bad, why are more and more countries rejecting socialism and embracing capitalism?