Open Sarah Palin Thread

by Kieran Healy on August 29, 2008

Interesting choice. My immediate reaction is that it’s a funny old world. We’re guaranteed either an African-American or a woman in the White House next year.

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Real and fake

by John Quiggin on August 29, 2008

Until now, the blogospheric fuss over former TNR diarist Scott Beauchamp has been notable only for the amount of attention paid to disputing utterly trivial anecdotes. But the Beauchamp saga has suddenly and surprisingly collided with the reality of war in Iraq, as Moon of Alabama explains.

Looking Forward

by John Holbo on August 29, 2008

I have a suggestion regarding this whole ‘you have to be very careful about criticizing McCain because of the POW thing‘ thing. The next time someone suggests it is inappropriate to say McCain messed up/is confused about X, because this is a man who etc. etc., someone ought to ask whether this will continue to apply in McCain’s Presidency, if he is elected. If he exhibits bad judgment, if we lurch from foreign policy crisis to crisis, if unwise domestic policies are pursued, will there continue to be an unusually high bar against holding McCain responsible for his words and actions? It’s hard to know how to refute a ‘yes, all is excused’ answer, if people really believe he’s got that much credit in the bank, going forward. But if it is ‘yes’, then that seems like a good reason not to vote for McCain. Because we obviously don’t want a President who can’t be held to account for any potential failings or weaknesses.

What this shows up is the rather significant difference between ‘because of what happened to him then, he must be right now’ and ‘because of what happened to him then, we can’t blame him for what’s happening now’. Obviously I’m being all elaborate about it, but it’s the sort of thing that would be easy to implement in sound-bit sized pieces. Just ask Brokaw what he’s actually saying. That McCain must be right? Or that McCain can’t be held responsible for being wrong? If Brokaw responds, as he probably will, that he thinks he’s just commenting on public sentiment – the public will react badly to criticism of McCain – then ask again: does Brokaw think the public thinks McCain must be right? Or that McCain can’t be held responsible?