Archive for September 12th, 2008

September 12, 2008

News flash: Liberals lack empathy

For conservatives, that is:

Liberals feel contempt for the conservative moral view, and that is very, very angering. Republicans are good at exploiting that anger.

(Via Ace and Hot Air Headlines.) From this, of course, the liberal writer draws the conclusion that “liberals need to work harder.” She doesn’t dare do the most obvious thing: QUESTION LIBERALISM.

If she ever did that, she might ask herself why contempt for others is so intrinsic to liberalism. I might suggest she read Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed, which explains that phenomenon in great detail.

The liberal worldview, Sowell explains, is all about moral narcissism. “Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy,” as the subtitle says. Even if one grants that liberal goals are noble, liberal policies consistently fail to achieve those goals. Yet liberals defend their policies on the basis of their good intentions. In other words, what counts is not whether policies work, but whether they are well-intended.

Because of this bogus moral posturing inherent in the liberal worldview, the liberal automatically attributes bad faith to opponents of his policies: “I support this policy because I care about poor people. Everyone who cares about the poor is on my side. Therefore, opposition can only come from those who don’t care about the poor.”

A good example of this is the liberal approach to public education. Over and over, liberals insist that more money is the answer to the problems of public education. Yet it is impossible to demonstrate a causal relationship between school spending and school quality. Public schools in Washington, D.C., are among the worst in America, even though the system is near the top in per-pupil expenditure.

Mere facts, however, don’t prevent liberals from attributing bad faith to conservatives who oppose more federal funding for K-12 education. And the feeling of superiority to others is, as Sowell documents, one of the basic incentives of the liberal worldview.

September 12, 2008

Team Obama: Back to Square One

Apparently realizing that they’ve been thrown off their game plan by Palin Derangement Syndrome, Team Obama hits the reset button:

“Today is the first day of the rest of the campaign,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe says in a campaign strategy memo. “We will respond with speed and ferocity to John McCain’s attacks and we will take the fight to him, but we will do it on the big issues that matter to the American people.”

Part of this “fight” is this new ad:

Ed Morrissey rolls his eyes at the “take the gloves off” talk from Democrats, which is also echoed in the New York Times:

Mr. McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate and the resulting jolt of energy among Republican voters appear to have caught Mr. Obama and his advisers by surprise and added to concern among some Democrats that the Obama campaign was not pushing back hard enough against Republican attacks in a critical phase of the race.

As I noted earlier this week, Team Obama clearly did not anticipate the Palin pick, since her name wasn’t included in their pre-set attack on “The Next Cheney.” One of the reasons the anti-Palin attacks were so wildly off-target was that the Obama campaign hadn’t prepared an oppo-research file on her.

There is nothing more predictable than Democrats reacting to political setbacks by urging that their candidates need to “take the gloves off.” This refrain has been endlessly repeated as the all-purpose excuse by Democrats going back to the 2000 Gore campaign. No matter how often they are embarrassed by the attack tactics of MoveOn.org (“General Betray Us”), liberals continue to believe that Democrats could win if only they’d get rougher with the Republicans. “Take the gloves off” is to losing Democrats what “media bias” is to losing Republicans, an all-powerful explanation for their own political ineptitude.

September 12, 2008

Elite rage against Palin

Cintra Wilson, a San Francisco playwright relocated to New York, perfectly expresses in Salon.com the incoherent rage of the bicoastal elite:

Sarah Palin is a bit comical, like one of those cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms. What her Down syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter unequivocally prove, however, is that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform that ensures her own political ambitions with the conservative right. The throat she’s so hot to cut is that of all American women. . . .
As a woman who does not believe what Palin believes, the thought of such an opportunistic anti-female in the White House — in the Cheney chair, no less — is akin to ideological brain rape. What this Republican blowup doll does with her own insides in accord with her own faith is her business. But, like the worst and most terrifying of religious extremists, she seems very comfortable with the idea of imposing her own views on everyone else.

The Sarah Palin of Wilson’s imagination, of course, bears no resemblance to the actual Sarah Palin. What is fascinating is Wilson’s radical feminist conception of true womanhood — “I abort, therefore I am” — that necessarily renders Palin as an unwoman, a “Republican blowup doll” or, as Wilson also calls her, “a Christian Stepford wife.”

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

September 12, 2008

Video: Sarah Palin in a bikini

Well, actually, it’s Gina Gershon portraying Sarah Palin in a bikini, but who cares? Also, the video (via Hot Air) repeats a nutroots smear about Palin banning books, but again, who cares?

See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die
September 12, 2008

What’s up with that?

One of Michelle Malkin‘s readers noticed that, in this video of the 9/11 ceremonies in New York, Barack Obama avoids shaking hands with a firefighter and a construction worker at the site:

UPDATE: Clark Stooksbury accuses Malkin of ginning up “bogus outrage.” But Obama’s actions are kind of . . . odd. For about 10 seconds, he’s talking to the woman at the end of the line, then as the rest of the group begins to move away, Obama glances (:15) at the firefighter — but rather than offering a handshake, Obama kind of nods at him, then moves off to his left, making sort of a semi-circle to the left of Mayor Bloomb erg, as if to avoid the construction worker. It’s just odd for a politician to miss an opportunity to shake hands with another voter like that.

September 12, 2008

FactCheck: Obama ad ‘misleads’

“A new Obama-Biden ad includes misleading claims about McCain and education spending,” says FactCheck.org. “The Obama ad says that McCain ‘voted to cut education funding’ and lists five Senate votes. But only one of the five meets that description, and even then, the vote requires further explanation.”

The accusation that McCain has a plan that would cut school funding is based on a teachers-union analysis which says that McCain’s proposed freeze on domestic discretionary spending is a “cut.” Is it a “cut” to freeze spending at current levels? More to the point, is the problem with public schools a shortage of money?

Here’s the Obama ad:

September 12, 2008

New McCain-Palin ad

I’m not quite sure what this ad is supposed to accomplish, except perhaps to establish in the viewers’ mind the idea that negative information about Palin they hear in the media is the result of Democratic attacks.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey doesn’t like it:

The McCain campaign has called Barack Obama “the world’s biggest celebrity” for two months now, and not for bad reasons, either. However, after doing that, I don’t think they have much room to complain about a lack of respect from their opponent.

Yeah, lay off the Sara-is-a-victim angle.

September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin: Good on TV

She’s obviously a natural. Charlie Gibson’s trying to make her look stupid, but doesn’t succeed.

Via Hot Air, where Allah says Palin “can’t answer the Pakistan question in anything but platitudes about stopping Islamic extremism.” Yes, but at least she said Islamic extremism — she named the enemy, rather than giving the impression that we’re under siege by radical Methodists or something.

Here’s the full transcript, and it’s clear that Gibson’s all about the “gotcha,” which will make liberals happy. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. American like Palin, and if they get the idea she’s being attacked, they’ll rally to her side. At some point, the MSM and Democrats will figure this out. Maybe after she’s been vice president a couple of years.

UPDATE: Politico says Palin “appears to have held her own” with Gibson. True, but it misses the point: She’s very good on TV. She looks good and speaks well, and appears very sincere. She doesn’t come across as “just another politician.” The more time that Sarah Palin is talking on TV, the better for the GOP. Just put her on and let her talk. Let the reporters play “gotcha” as much as they want, and it doesn’t matter. When Americans like somebody the way they like Palin, it’s magic that way.