September 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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Sarah Palin is a charismatic persona much like Ronald Reagan. She is articulate an uses words with clever allusions to bring home her ideas just as Ronald Reagan did. “Hockey mom,” “thanks but no thanks” “put the governor’s jet on E-bay” “I fired the cook” conveys that she a government cost cutter and a rugged, self reliant individualist like Reagan.

He also conveyed these ideas to Americans who thought we could go back to the simpler values as depicted in cowboy movies. We are people from the rugged West where men are men and women are women and by God we know the difference. We are not from the Eastern cities with political corruption and loose morals. Our values are the values of the founding fathers and the pioneers. was the inference to be drawn.

She has the simplistic views of the world just as Reagan did who spoke of his ideal as “America is a bright shinning city on a hill.”(Perhaps his most effective allusion the ideal it embodies could mean anything to any one, but probably it is mostly associated with Heaven on Earth.) There is always a right and wrong that can be clearly perceived with no shades of gray. Good and evil are clear to the average person. ( Mr Gorbachev tear this wall down.” to prove the USSR was not on the side of evil.) And God is always on our side because we are guided by faith in God. This was his mantra and doesn’t it sound familiar in the words of the McCain-Palin campaign. They both must have the same speech writers.

Reagan was also guided in by his views that free markets will always end in the best possible result for all people. Democracy will always win out when free men vote their conscience. Government should be small and less obtrusive. Taxes should be reduced to support only the basic functions of government which are police work and national defense. Social programs like Social Security and Medicare sap the strength of America and make people weaklings. People should be rugged individualists.

How many pictures did we see of Reagan on his ranch, poetically named Rancho Del Cielo, in cowboy clothes doing ranch chores like chopping wood or riding a quarter horse.

This ranch was purchased for $527000.00 by the Reagan’s on the advice of their tax and financial advisors in 1974 when he was Governor of California. In 1998 it was sold to a conservative group called the Young America’s For Freedom, headquartered outside Washington, for approximately five million. An approximate ten fold increase in value, much of it due to the improvements the government paid for so it could be used as the Western White House. The exact price seems to be a secret but it had been listed by the Reagan’s for 5.95 million with no takers. Pete Wilson tried to have the Federal government buy it as a memorial for five million. Reagan’s more savvy acolytes nixed that as counter to all Reagan stood for and would ruin his public image. While he had the ranch, beside it being an investment and a tax deduction, it always seemed to lose money as a “business” perhaps it was the cost of the real ranch hands who kept the place up before the government took over this expense. It also gave him great copy for his public persona as a rugged cowboy from the West standing on his own two feet without government assistance. Bush Jr. has tried to use the same public relations ploy with his Crawford Ranch without the same success.

The Young America’s Foundation is preserving Reagan’s ranch as a living memorial to Ronald Reagan and his ideas and ideals. In the recent past it also sponsored a “Gala and Dinner” in honor of Ann Coulter. Need more be said?

Now we see Sarah Palin depicted as a rugged individualist, frontier type mom. She has five kids, shoots, skins and eats Moose, runs Alaska as a cost cutter and ruthless maverick eliminating pork and corruption. She levied a windfall tax on the oil companies so she could pay every Alaskan an extra $1200 in addition to the $2000 they already get from oil revenues. Who paid for that? We did. The oil companies are geniuses at passing wind fall taxes and other taxes on to the end users: the American People.

Conservative Republicans are supposed to be against raising taxes. They are unless they aren’t paying them and the little guy is.

She got rid of the governor’s jet. Listing it on E-bay was surely a public relations stunt that didn’t work and it was ultimately sold to a private entity for $500,000.00 loss.

Much has been said about the “bridge to nowhere” as being an example of pork barrel spending on an unneeded project. First she was for it, however when a Washington taxpayers group publicized it as a prime example of pork barrel spending and it was about to be killed she changed horses and was against it. The Reaganesque phrase “thanks but not thanks,” made at her acceptance speech was a deception.

More importantly Alaska, while she was governor, received the funds earmarked for the bridge to be used for other “necessary projects” like the road leading up to the “bridge to no where” which has been built. So the bridge itself appears to be on a back burner waiting for a more opportune time. One wonders what the other necessary projects were that the money went for and why they weren’t designated as an ear mark in the first place?

Palin presents herself in the same way as Reagan but as a rugged individualist living in the wilds of Alaska, hunting and eating moose when she actually lives in a suburban city located 35 miles from Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. It has approximately 350,000 people in its metropolitan area which includes her home town of Wasilla.

If she’s a rugged individualist then all the other suburban housewife’s who take their children to little league and go to a national park for a vacation are also, with or with out lipstick. In any event are hockey moms nobler than little league moms or any other mom who takes her children to after school sports like basketball, track or swimming? Perhaps hockey is a sport more likely to be played in one of the contested states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado or Pennsylvania and some clever speech writer made the reference for the undecided women in those states.

In case you are wondering, 98% of Alaska is owned be the Federal Government so the entire state it is close to being a national park and Alaska receives more Federal tax dollars per capita than any other state. So one could argue it is a true welfare state. So much for the myth of rugged individualists who are purer than city folk because they live in a small town.

This rugged individualist theme of one who communes with nature is a recurrent theme in Republican politics. It is an appeal to the more atavistic among us who yearn for a simpler time while actually the world is becoming more complex due to technology, economics and population growth. The U. S. is being globalized. The cowboys didn’t have to deal with nuclear weapons, AIDS, Asian flu, credit bubbles and world poverty to name a few things. This image is good for cutting taxes and benefits for those less rugged or can’t stand on their own two feet like our seniors, disabled and disadvantaged citizens.

Regan didn’t like paying taxes especially since he was in a higher bracket due to his movie and public relations work. Lowering taxes is always a Republican campaign theme like Palin saying she is a cost cutter and thus eliminating the need for taxes. Just like Reagan, Palin is for shifting taxes to some one else to pay. In her case it was those American’s who must buy gasoline to live and work. Reagan had the discredited Trickle Down Theory of economics. If you lowered taxes on the rich they will create more investment capital. By the rich he meant those large corporations and individuals in the top 5% of taxpayers like himself. The benefits of increased investment by the rich would result in more jobs for the workers, who pay the bulk of taxes anyway, which would result in more revenue through withholding from their wages.

Palin is a bright, new, charismatic, articulate woman on the outside but inside she harbors the tired old policies of deregulation against the public interest as we have seen recently in the sub prime crisis and its aftermath, shifting taxes onto the middle class and away from the wealthy, elimination of programs that benefit all Americans by creating a healthy and stable middle class. The middle class is the basic foundation for American society. It pays the taxes, its sons and daughters serve in the military, it consumes the goods and services that make the economy go, and its labor and intellect makes America go. If any class in America should be protected it is the middle class. Palin’s philosophy of government doesn’t do this.

In the coming months, hopefully the fact the empress has no clothes will be revealed in the debates and in the media.



September 10, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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The Candidate And Washington “Reformer” On The Steps Of Congress.

His Campaign Now That He has Made Concessions To The Christian Right.

McCain’s campaign was going nowhere until he named Sarah Palin as running mate in the Vice Presidential Slot. Granted that Sarah Palin is not a pig. She is a pretty, telegenic, charismatic and eloquent hockey mom. The question is will she add the lipstick to his tired old campaign as an alleged reformer of her own party?

McCain is seventy two and there are many questions about his mental and physical capacity to be president with all the physical vigor and mental acuity it will require at those times when the buck will stop at his desk for a decision.

Sarah Palin is no Cheney or is she? Well not in terms of experience and she is not likely to be the eminence grise behind the Presidency as Cheney was or is. However what she lacks in experience she makes up for in poise and confidence, but more and more it is turning out that she has pushed McCain’s candidacy further to the right on gun control, pro- life- anti Roe V. Wade issues, tax cuts, energy and Christian Right values. She is certainly not a moderate.

While she talks about alternative energy sources her main focus is on more drilling in the United States and particularly in Alaska. She doesn’t believe Global Warming is man made so green energy is low on her list of priorities. She has the typical conservative ideas on solving the energy crisis i.e. more drilling now some alternative fuels and hopefully some new technology will turn up to make the problem go away.

Sarah Palin is merely the tired Republican right under a young face. She is not a new force for meaningful change but just McCain’s sop to the Christian fundamentalists and the right he needs as his base in this election. Those are the people who rally to her appearances on McCain’s stops where once he could hardly fill a small arena but now he has crowds flocking to see and hear Palin.

They are not Hillary’s women supporters but female fundamentalist Christians. Previously the Republican right was skeptical when McCain said he would appoint judges who would overturn Roe v.Wade. Now they believe him. She has added the lipstick to his campaign. She is new blood but with still the same old tired Republican/Conservative ideas under a bright young face campaigning as a reformer. Her new face is not necessarily political change or reform it is merely a new person harboring the same Republican rightist principles. In the case of Sarah Palin’s new face it covers a heart that is farther to the right and harder than most Republicans.

This not a new thing with the Republican strategists when their policies and ideas fall on their face with the majority of Americans they reach down for an unknown charismatic personality from nowhere and push him or her forward as the answer to all America’s problems. A reformer who will change the party’s ways. Bush was such a person. Yet when he gained office under the most tenuous conditions he brought into office with him the old guard of lobbyists and business managers to run the government under the same old tired policies of limited government, a big military, less business and environmental regulation and fewer taxes for the upper one percent of taxpayers.

John McCain calls himself a”reformer” but he has been the quintessential Washington insider for over twenty five years supporting the Republican agenda during that time. His Wikipedia page lists his net worth as over forty million dollars and his wife, who owns the Budweiser distributorship in Phoenix, is reputed to be worth more than one hundred million dollars.

One wonders how you accumulate forty million dollars on a naval officers pay and a politicians pay.

McCain defines the dividing line between middle class and rich as someone earning five million dollars. That is a person in the top .01 percent of wage earners. Obvious he is so far removed from the average middle class family that he has lost the common touch he may have once had as a naval pilot.

He has voted with Bush the vast majority of the time and some critics say at least ninety percent of the time. Occasionally he would remonstrate at some earmark or administration proposal but nothing serious. His main claim to fame as a “maverick” is the McCain Feingold campaign finance bill which has been ineffective. Republicans still get their money from lobbyists and business. Obama has seemed to break the Democratic mold of support from unions, trial lawyers and liberal celebrities by raising his money on the internet in small individual donations. He may be the first democratically financed president. Dean touched on this means of campaign finance until he was derailed in Iowa in 2004 by a hostile media.

Remember he also voted for all of Bushes ultra conservative federal judge nominees both for the appellate bench and the Supreme Court and he would give us more of the same if elected. So he has no record to run on except the Bush record of the last eight years which he would essentially continue if elected. However espousing the policies of Bush on Iraq and taxes will not get him elected so he has to call himself the candidate for “change” and “reform.”

When this campaign theme is not effective or believable in comes the new face of Sarah Palin who will “reform” Washington. This is almost laughable because as Vice President she has no power and for most of her life she has backed the Republican right.

Who would really run the government in the sad event of a McCain victory? It would be the same lobbyists and business types drawn from the same pool that ran the Bush government and bureaucracy. McCain is too old and Palin is too inexperienced and unsophisticated to do it herself and as said she has no power and will be relegated to the sidelines doing PR work with the many women’s organization whose meetings require an administration speaker.

McCain says he is going to reform health care with the help of private industries meaning the big insurers, that’s funny since they are the reason why forty percent of Americans lack health insurance. These are people the insurance companies don’t want to insure because they are at the bottom of the risk pyramid or lack the funds to buy their expensive plans.

McCain would let Social Security and Medicare die as big business doesn’t like a competing plan that works and holds them up to comparison. Thus Republicans are trying to sabotage Social
Security and Medicare by underfunding while giving massive tax reductions to big business. These two programs comprise the greatest social successes in the last fifty years for America

He would reform education with charter schools instead of the bolstering public education which is the back bone of the country and another Americaan success story. Public School teachers are unionized to protect themselves from meddling politicians who run on reform platforms for changing the schools although they never taught or administered. It is just a cheap shot at the school unions who mainly support democratic candidates.

Also he attacks trial lawyers who support mostly democratic candidates and therefore are not a part of his Republican base.

He would “reign” in the trial lawyers who in many cases are the last resort of Americans to gain a hearing before a judge or jury who are empowered do something about the inequities in the system.

Can McCain use Sarah Palin to put lipstick on his tired pig of a campaign falsely alleging he is for “change” and that he will kick the rascals out that he has worked and voted with for twenty five year years? I think not because he is one of the rascals and Sarah Palin is a sham candidate considering that McCain first wanted Joe Lieberman, then former Governor Rudd of Pa. (a battle ground state) but they were nixed by McCain’s campaign operatives because both these men were pro choice. These men would have also made his candidacy appear more centrist . Milt Romney was rejected because he has taken conflicting positions, first pro choice and then pro life so his operatives (think future plumbers) turned to Palin a last minute desperate gamble to put life in his campaign and a sop the fundamentalist Christian right.

Change candidate or reformer? This spin is an out right falsehood.