Tag Archives: Democrats

Sarah Palin is to Republicans What Joe Lieberman is to Democrats

Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman appear with former Governor Sarah Palin on Septmber 22, 2008 in Media, Penn.

Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman appeared with former Governor Sarah Palin on Septmber 22, 2008 in Media, Pennsylvania.

Senator Joe Lieberman was on Fox News Sunday this week speaking on the Ft. Hood tragedy proclaiming his committee was going to “investigate” what he believes is “the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11.” So, instead of what would usually and regretfully be called a “fragging” or “friendly fire” or some other euphemism, Lieberman used the Republican Party line to define our two wars as Holy Wars. Any act by a Muslim is a terrorist act. We are in a crusade against evil. Therefore Muslims are evil. We’re good, they’re bad.

Then the Senator from the great state of Connecticut is asked about the Health Care Reform bill. Lieberman brushes up against yet another GOP talking point and says, “The public option plan is unnecessary. It has been put forward, I’m convinced, by people who really want the government to take over all of health insurance.” Government takeover of health care. Raise taxes. More debt. You lie.

As I was watching the interview, I thought to myself, ”Wow this schmuck came dangerously close to being one heartbeat away from the presidency.”

Then it occurred to me: Joe Lieberman is the Left’s Sarah Palin.

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Still Wild About Sarah

POLITICO's Sarah Palin Survey spoke with nearly 50 prominent Republican Party officials and politicians, representing every region of the country.

POLITICO's Sarah Palin Survey spoke with nearly 50 prominent Republican Party officials and politicians, representing every region of the US.

Despite a torrent of criticism from the media, Democrats and even some in her own party, Sarah Palin remains the hottest brand name in politics.

Her recent resignation was perplexing. It’s raised doubts about her viability as a potential presidential candidate. Still, she remains extremely popular with the GOP grass roots, and most Republican Party leaders would jump at the chance to have her headline one of their events.

That’s the picture that emerges from interviews with dozens of GOP state and local leaders from across the country.

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Sick and Wrong

How Washington is screwing up health care reform – and why it may take a revolt to fix it

President Obama vs. the GOP on Health Care Reform.

President Obama vs. the GOP on Health Care Reform.

Let’s start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world. It’s become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment — a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn’t be equal to dreaming it up on purpose.

The system doesn’t work for anyone. It cheats patients and leaves them to die, denies insurance to 47 million Americans, forces hospitals to spend billions haggling over claims, and systematically bleeds and harasses doctors with the specter of catastrophic litigation. Even as a mechanism for delivering bonuses to insurance-company fat cats, it’s a miserable failure: Greedy insurance bosses who spent a generation denying preventive care to patients now see their profits sapped by millions of customers who enter the system only when they’re sick with incurably expensive illnesses.

The cost of all of this to society, in illness and death and lost productivity and a soaring federal deficit and plain old anxiety and anger, is incalculable — and that’s the good news. The bad news is our failed health care system won’t get fixed, because it exists entirely within the confines of yet another failed system: the political entity known as the United States of America.

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Palin and America’s Paranoid-Style Politics

Sarah Palin exemplifies all the worst traits of paranoid politics found within America today.

Sarah Palin exemplifies all the worst traits of paranoid politics within America today.

Forty-five years ago this November, political historian Richard Hofstadter published a provocative essay in Harper’s Magazine entitled “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” in which he argued that our nation “has served again and again as an arena for uncommonly angry minds.”

Hofstadter, a widely celebrated professor at Columbia University who had just won a Pulitzer Prize for his book “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,” was then confronting both the ghosts of McCarthyism and the more immediate significance of Barry Goldwater’s candidacy for president of the United States. Hofstadter was particularly concerned about assessing “how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.”

“I call it the paranoid style,” Hofstadter wrote, “simply because no other word adequately evokes the qualities of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.”

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Sarah Palin’s Obama Obsession

Sarah Palin during her speech at the Republican National Convention.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ranting to the crowds during her speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Today [Saturday] marks the one-year anniversary of John McCain’s introduction of Sarah Palin to the international stage, in Dayton, Ohio, a political battleground that the Republicans desperately needed for another shot at the White House. They lost Ohio big (by more than 300,000 votes), and they lost the election even bigger–mostly thanks to Palin’s erratic, if not downright bizarre, performance as the vice-presidential nominee.

In many ways, it seems longer than a year. Much longer. Palin went back to Alaska, where her life turned into a nasty soap opera. There were revelations from McCain’s staff about her behavior on the campaign trail; she was hit with a myriad of ethics charges (some of which, contrary to Palin’s claims otherwise, stuck); she bailed on her relationship with the state’s legislators and played politics with the federal stimulus plan; she got into a dog fight with Levi Johnston; she began a series of odd Twitterings, replete with a six-part ramble on Mommy Bear; she resigned amid chaos and deception, only to return as a diva on Facebook.

And through it all she has been obsessed with Barack Obama.

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Palin ‘Death Panels’ Smite Journalism

Private Health Insurance Companies 'Death Panels'

Private Health Insurance Companies 'Death Panels'

For once, mainstream journalists did not retreat to the studied neutrality of quoting dueling antagonists.

They tried to perform last rites on the ludicrous claim about President Obama’s death panels, telling Sarah Palin, in effect, you’ve got to quit making things up.

But it didn’t matter. The story refused to die.

The crackling, often angry debate over health-care reform has severely tested the media’s ability to untangle a story of immense complexity. In many ways, news organizations have risen to the occasion; in others they have become agents of distortion. But even when they report the facts, they have had trouble influencing public opinion.

In the 10 days after Palin warned on Facebook of an America “in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel,’ ” The Washington Post mentioned the phrase 18 times, the New York Times 16 times, and network and cable news at least 154 times (many daytime news shows are not transcribed).

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What Would Sarah Palin Want With Rhode Island?

Rhode Island

Rhode Island, Sarah Palin's future home?

The latest rumor wending its way around the Interwebs – and it’s a doozy – has Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ditching Anchorage for the suburbs of the Rhode Island. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Palin would fund the move to blue state America “with $7 million from her book and a contract with Fox. And, oh yes, she’s never running for office again.”

Silly, right? After all, just a month ago, Palin was using Twitter to wax poetic on the enduring beauties of her home state: I’m “tasting a nibble of AK’s bounty,knowing AKns are never bored;so much to do & discover [sic],” she tweeted. The gossip, for now, is just gossip — the Palin team has remained mum. Still, the Providence Journal thought enough of the rumors to run its own article.

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