Monday, September 1, 2008

Logic Is Not the Liberals' Strong Suit

The left wing's attack harpies are out in force against John McCain's Vice Presidential pick Sarah Palin, but it is logic that is the loser. Over at the Daily Kos site (you'll have to find it yourself; I don't like to pollute the Internet with poisonous links), a certain "ArcXIX" (who of course remains anonymous) evidences an ability to leap to conclusions that would put an Olympic pole-vaulter to shame. Using multiple photographs and videos, but no logic of any kind, this epitome of liberal "no-think" has decided that the Honorable Sarah Palin has lied to her friends, to her extended family, to the people of Alaska and the United States, and to the entire world, and that Trig Paxson Van Palin, born last April 18, is not her fifth child and second son, but her first grandchild. (Oh, the shame! Oh, the scandal!)  ArcXIX claims to know, by inspecting some outdated photos, that Trig's mother is none other than the Hon. Mrs. Palin's oldest daughter, seventeen-year-old Bristol, who was taken out of school for infectious mononucleosis, which in the tortured world of ArcXIX was a cover to conceal her pregnancy. It all seems plausible at first blush, until the following inconvenient facts interfere:

1. Trig was born prematurely, one month ahead of schedule.

2. On April 17, the day before Trig was to be born, Gov. Palin and her husband (but not any of their children) had been in Texas for three days at an energy conference of the National Governors' Association, and she was scheduled to deliver a speech on the fourth day.

3. At 4:00 a.m. on the 17th, Gov. Palin reported she woke with what she felt were the beginnings of labor pains. She called her family physician, and together, she says, they decided that the pains were far enough apart (an hour or more) that she could stay in Texas and give her speech.  

4. Although she had leaked some amniotic fluid, the labor pains did not intensify.  She gave her speech as scheduled, and left immediately afterward for an 8-hour flight back to Alaska, with a stopover in Seattle, where she checked with her doctor again. On arrival at Anchorage, she drove to the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Wasilla (the town where she had served on the City Council and then as Mayor for ten years), and checked herself in just before midnight. Her doctor had to induce her labor, and Trig was quickly delivered at about 6:30 a.m. the next day.

Note that this where ArcXIX's version has to depart from human nature and simple logic. For if we are to believe ArcXIX's version of events, the 4:00 am incident would have been a call from her daughter Bristol in Alaska, reporting that she had started labor, and pleading with her mother to hurry home. And what does this devoted mother of four (at the time) then do? She ignores her daughter's plea and stays in Texas for another eight hours before leaving, just to deliver a speech---supremely confident, apparently, that (a) her daughter will not have the baby before she can get back, and (b) that her daughter can get through her first labor pains without her mother at her side.  (Remember, this is the scenario concocted by a conservative-hating liberal.) 

We also have to rope into the Grand Conspiracy an entire family, a licensed physician who is well-known throughout the area where Gov. Palin grew up, and the obstetrics staff at the medical center where Trig was eventually born.  It is always the hallmark of a liberal Grand Conspiracy that so many people have to be involved in the coverup that it is a miracle of determination that no one ever breaks faith and spills the beans. (Witness, for example, the kind of vast conspiracy that has to be invoked to say that the First Folio was an elaborate ploy to make the world think that Shakespeare, and not the noble Edward de Vere, wrote the plays that it gave to the world.)  We also have to credit Governor Palin with having an off-the-shelf plan, available to be invoked at any moment, to commence acting the role of a mother in labor, and to have all the pieces and players in position to cooperate in the charade---all the while the real mother is supposedly enduring a 30-hour ordeal to deliver her first child, without her mother beside her for the first 24 hours of that ordeal.  

Such illogic does not faze the liberal mind. When presented with the contradictions, they simply embrace them, and go right back to repeating their crazy story. (ArcXIX even has a follow-up post touting "explosive new details." Sure.)

NEWSFLASH (how uncurmudgeonly that word sounds!): To put the kibosh on the crazy rumors spread by ArcXIX and such ilk, Sarah and her husband Todd have just issued a press release announcing that their daughter Bristol is five months with child, and plans on not only carrying it to term---take that, ArcXIX---but also on marrying the father. Let's see now---five months: August, July, June, May, and April. Too bad logic was not your strong suit, ArcXIX. [UPDATE: Here is the entire comment on this item from William Voegeli at No Left Turns: "A Rifle-Toting, Hot Librarian Grandmother for Vice President: Show me those folks who think American politics is dull."] [UPDATE2 09/06/2008: In the take-no-prisoners world of the left, the fate of ArcXIX was to have both of his/her blog entries DELETED from the DailyKos site. You can search for them, and you can even find some other references to them, but the links all lead to a message that "what you were searching for no longer exists." So much for documentation; apparently the posts had to go because they were seen as hurting Obama's campaign.]

In my humble opinion, the reason that such a scenario is not improbable in the least to people like ArcXIX is that they see themselves as capable of carrying it out. It is a truism that liberals think nothing of putting on a persona for the public; we see this happen every four years in the presidential race. Making the public think they are something different from what they are is not deception with liberal politicians, it is an instinct, because if the public saw their true character, it would never elect them. (Look what happened to John Kerry, for instance, when he tried running on a platform that waffled on pulling out of Iraq.) 

But there I go casting curmudgeonly aspersions on whole groups, without the specifics that we conservatives should always have at hand. You would like an example, and it so happens I have one. Consider liberal author Jane Smiley, who blogs over at Arianna Huffington's site. She is figuratively frothing at the mouth with the instinct to attack Governor Palin (again, I shall not provide the link, in order to preserve you from the full dose of poison):
Already the Democratic pundits are worrying about whether to attack Sarah Palin -- will it look like bullying? Will it make voters sympathize with her? Will it make voters identify with her and vote for her? Women are supposed to lay off her because -- she is a woman! The thinking goes that we can't question her choices because women's choices are sacrosanct. Nor can we investigate her life (beauty queen, Christian Dominionist, links to Ted Stevens, childbearing history) because those are private issues. But what Sarah Palin shows is that once again, the right wing is adept at turning the women's movement upside down and offering us a woman who reinforces patriarchal power rather than challenges it. Palin is another Margaret Thatcher or Ann Coulter, a woman who attaches herself to men in power and then does them one better. She uses the freedom that the women's movement has brought her quash the liberation of women with other views than hers. The bitch is in there, as it is with Coulter and Thatcher and Katherine Harris. The Democrats have to bring that bitch out and she has given us the right to do it.
I almost hate to despoil these pages with such ill-tempered, foul-mouthed illogic (who is calling whom a "bitch"?), but my point here is that liberal minds are immune to, and unsullied by, anything amounting to logic. Notice first the logical inversion in Ms. Smiley's brand of thinking: 
. . . the right wing is adept at turning the women's movement upside down and offering us a woman who reinforces patriarchal power rather than challenges it. Palin is another Margaret Thatcher or Ann Coulter, a woman who attaches herself to men in power and then does them one better.
  ". . . a woman who reinforces patriarchal power rather than challenges it." Really, Ms. Smiley, and what do you suppose Hillary Clinton was doing? Did she also "attach herself" to a man in power, and then seek to "do him one better"? How is "doing men in power one better" reinforcing patriarchy rather than challenging it, as you say? (And what "man in power" did Margaret Thatcher attach herself to---Prince Philip? Or the steadfastly single Ann Coulter?)

So the right wing, which has simply done what the Democrats failed to do and has given a woman the chance both to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and preside over the United States Senate, is "adept at turning the women's movement upside down"? But it would have kept the women's movement right-side up (whatever that direction is) had the Democrats nominated Hillary rather than Obama? I'm sorry, Ms. Smiley, but your thinking here is not up to your ire. You are obviously mad about something to do with Governor Palin, but it is not possible to tell what it is from what you write. It's like trying to read the mind of a two-year-old throwing a tantrum---it can't be done.

At the risk of souring your day completely, I will let through one more taste of Ms. Smiley:
The personal is political, after all. Here are some issues she has to explain: What is her religion and who is her pastor? Is she a Christian Dominionist and how does she feel about the separation of church and state? How does she square her roles as mother and politican? Who is taking care of the kids while she is away, including the baby? If it's the husband, I'm glad. If it's a nanny and always has been, then I want to know how a wealthy woman with a nanny helps women in general -- wealthy women with nannies are nothing new. If she's into "family values," I want to know what they are, and how the nanny views Palin's "family values." If she produced a child at 44, I want to know if she believes in birth control, because birth control is a political issue. I also want to know her views on the government's obligations to the disabled. Do the disabled children of rich people get special treatments that their parents can afford, while the disabled children of poor people get nothing? Who is the boss in her family? If it's her, then I want to know how that squares with Christian notions of patriarchy. If it's the husband, then I want to know his values and beliefs about all the issues that face the nation, and I want to know who will actually be the vice president. I want to see her tax returns. I want to see his tax returns.
. . .
We had years to relate to Hillary Clinton. We saw her through good times and bad. We saw her do things we didn't agree with, and we saw her do things we did agree with. She was an open book in many ways. Sarah Palin accused her of "whining." I didn't agree with Clinton, and I didn't support her, but I never accused her of whining. That "whining" remark is the hallmark of a bitchy and and arrogant point of view -- a characteristic of all conservative women politicians. So, Sarah thinks she can take it. I say we give it to her good.
All I can say, Ms. Smiley, is that your attitude reflects your character as well, and I am certainly glad that no one has nominated you for Vice President---or for any other office, for that matter. You might want to try a different line, one that possibly would not get you worked up quite so much---say, like writing a novel (no logic needed there).

P.S.: Ewww. I'm done with the liberal mind-bent for a good long while. Here's an antidote to erase Ms. Smiley-bilely from your mind: over at her Transfigurations blog, Pat Dague has done a terrific job of pointing people to the truly worthwhile and important posts on Sarah Palin, including this one, an outstanding line-by-line comparison of her qualifications to those of Sen. Obama. Be sure to read the additional items in the comments, as well.



  1. It is kind of an odd accusation about the baby given the statistics:
    "The risk of Down syndrome increases with the mother's age. For mothers under 30, it happens in fewer than one in 1,000 births. For mothers Palin's age, it's one in 35, according to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development."

  2. Liberals were once known to be logical, but this new breed is only political.

  3. Here's another question that's gnawing at me- If the Palins were so concerned about Bristol's privacy, why did they choose to throw their kid under the bus when it became politically expedient to do so? If they were genuinely concerned about making sure her pregnancy did not become an issue, they could have simply kept her out of the public eye for the next two months. That's what they wanted to do anyway. Instead they decide to quell those "nasty rumors" by dropping the dime on their daughter. They could have simply released Trig's birth records instead, and everyone would have gotten red in the face and slinked away. Something is definitely rotten in the Great White North Territory. This needs to be addressed. The Palin family and the McCain campaign have made it all fair game right from the beginning.

  4. Merge Divide, I don't think I would describe what the Palins have done in response to the completely illogical and rather nasty Internet-based rampage demanding the unsealing of their private medical records as "throwing their kid under the bus." They live in a relatively small town, after all, and it was not exactly a secret to anyone there that Bristol was pregnant, or who the father is. So the scenario you imagine was not an option for them.

    Nor would I consider it beneath their dignity to reaffirm the love they have for their daughter, come what may. What would be unseemly is if they had felt it necessary to release Trig's birth records (since the release of even his birth certificate would not have satisfied those who refuse to apply plain logic to the known facts). That would have been capitulating to the absolute frenzy that is now seizing the left wing of the Democratic party---go and take a look, if you haven't already, at the special Sarah Palin page at the Huffington site.

    I have to disagree that the Palin family (or the McCain campaign) "made it fair game right from the beginning," as you claim. To the contrary, they did not start the rumors, or encourage leaping to illogical conclusions as ArcXIX did, and then spreading that illogic all over the Internet. For you to use the left's self-generated frenzy as justification for claiming it's all "fair game now" is a little like saying that sharks attracted by chum are justification enough for throwing a person overboard into their midst, since "it's all fair game now."

    That being said, I appreciate your coming here to engage us right-wing religious types in some civil dialogue. I shall return the favor some day.

  5. The decision was made to build Palin's public profile on "family values". If we're not going to talk about that, then what shall we talk about? Her extensive political experience? Her experience as Miss Alaska's runner-up? Moose-hunting? Tell me, and I'll certainly roll with it.

  6. Merge Divide, all we can know about the Palins and their "family values" is that they favor giving children life over aborting them, even if they will be born with Down's syndrome. They also stand behind a daughter who has an accident and becomes pregnant. Instead of arranging an abortion for her, or kicking her out of the house, they support her decision to carry the baby to term.

    And that's all we can know as far as the Palins are concerned; what we know about the Obamas' "family values" is even less, because their girls are still a little young to get into trouble. (If you were to take Obama's words as the measure of his family values---and I'm not saying you can---he would come up a little short in that department.)

    But words are not indicative of values, deeds are---especially when the chips are down. It is hubris to stand in moral judgment of a particular family and assert, without knowing anything about them other than what you can read in the poisoned atmosphere that is engulfing them these days, that in your view they are not a fit example of "family values." But look around you: just Google "Palin 'family values' " and you will find page after page of self-righteous pundits who believe themselves qualified to make just such a judgment.

    The hypocrisy in the mainstream media on this topic has surpassed all past excesses, by far. Hardly anyone is drawing the lesson that we are supposed to follow, namely, "let him who is without sin cast the first stone." What is taking place is not a genuine debate about "family values," but instead is a mindless competition to appear more sanctimonious (or cynical) than the previous bloviator on the Web or in the media---look at your own comment above, which cynically sets up a false dichotomy between talking about either "family values" (so-called) or moose-hunting and beauty contests.

    Take your own candidate's advice and leave off all the ad hominem slurs on Sarah Palin and her children. What you should be "rolling with" is an objective analysis of how the candidates stack up against each other on issues like energy, the environment, national security, the Iranian nuclear program, and the like. (You could do worse than construct a response to the chart I linked to at the end of the post above.)

  7. The liberal and mainstream media outrage about Sarah Plain and her family makes them look like hypocrites. That's simply what comes of slinging mud at good people. They hate the fact that more Americans can relate to the Palins than to the Bidens or the Obamas.

    In my view, picking Palin to be his VP was a stroke of genius on McCain's part!

  8. The thing is that I AGREE with you about what should be the focus. But once again, the GOP, the McCain Campaign, and Palin herself have conspired to build a profile which purports to represent "family values". That she and her supporters are now taking offense that others are engaging her on those terms is her own fault, and the height of hypocrisy. When there's no more talk about "family values", then there will be no more talk about politicians' families. I eagerly anticipate that day. I hope conservatives will finally understand how tiresome this line of attack is.

    I've written a post for tomorrow (Wednesday) on my blog that directly addresses your concerns. I'll post it at 4PM EST. If you have the time, please check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks.

  9. Well said (as usual) a. s. haley.

    I checked out Merge's website and he seems to be having fun as a troll. He even has a post relishing in the hostile responses he managed to generate for his obnoxious activities.

  10. Thank you, Alice C. Linsley and Perpetua, for your comments. I have been assembling a little catalog of the manifold hypocrisy in evidence since the left wing went wild over Sarah Palin, and may publish it as a post (unless I decide it's just too boring and obvious for comment). And I am aware of Merge Divide's blog and why he came here in the first place---but his posts have been courteous and civil, and I'm determined he shall be treated in the same way here.

    He says he does not want to talk about "family values", but that McCain and Palin somehow goaded him into it by "conspiring to build a profile" on the subject---just by being who they are, and by telling us who they are, no less. When I point out that there's nothing to say about them other than the facts concerning what they have actually done when faced with family problems, he says he still has something to offer on the topic, which he will post tomorrow. So let's bide our time, and see what he writes.

  11. The Sarah Palin conundrum will continue to unfold until the next news cycle or maybe until after the VP debate Thursday, October 2
    at Washington University in St. Louis when we shall see how she handles herself in debate mano a mano.

    The media circus is entertaining to watch. It is a shame that people might be influenced by Kos or the ArcXIX's of the world.

    As long as we are discussing logic, help me with the Palin Conundrum.
    My conundrum is this, if I vote for McCain, I must be a racist. If I vote for Obama, I must be a chauvinist.

  12. Underground Pewster, that is a classic, worthy of Lewis Carroll. The solution is to separate the tickets and add up the total score: A vote for Obama/Biden is a vote for two Senate aristocrats, while a vote for McCain/Palin is a vote for just one Senate aristocrat and for a fresh face. Counting the aristocratic votes as -5, and the fresh face vote as +10 (since one new fresh face can offset two old-dog aristocrats), you arrive at the totals: -10 for the Obama/Biden ticket, and +5 for the McCain Palin ticket. (Of course, that also means that the Green Party ticket would be a +20, so you have to be careful not to overstep the limits of logic here. Within the established parties, though, it's a useful tool.)

  13. alice,

    Where's the hypocrisy, again? If the "liberals" were promoting a "family values" plank, and their candidate was demonstrating such woefully comic family practices, then I could understand your point.

  14. perpetua,

    Perhaps you would consider your actions that of a troll if you were trying to engage others with differing opinions in adult discussion. I don't know. But as for me, I am genuinely interested in learning how others think- especially of they have differing values. Who wants to confine themselves to the like-minded? If you don't appreciate my comments or my blog...fine. I'm not forcing anyone to read. A "troll" wouldn't keep coming back to address follow-up comments. He/she would just string out insults.

  15. a.s. haley,

    Thank you for containing your judgments to the things that I actually write, rather than just assumptions about me. I honestly appreciate that.

  16. Gladly, Merge Divide. The term "aristocracy" comes from Greek roots meaning "rule by the elite, or 'best' of society." In Wikipedia, the term is defined as follows:

    "Aristocracies have most often been hereditary plutocracies [e.g., from Kennedy to Kennedy, from Bush to Bush, etc.], with a belief in their own superiority. . . . Aristocracy can also refer to the highest class in society even if they do not rule directly. They are usually under the leaders of the country in the ladder of status."

    United States Senators are by definition members of one of the most exclusive ruling clubs in America, with the membership limited to just 100 elites. They are what I call "aristocrats."

  17. I don't know if your definition is that convincing for me. Obama's mother was on food stamps at one point, so the hereditary power is certainly absent in his case. Biden's father was a car salesman. McCain's father was the commander of the Pacific fleet.

    I'm not comfortable with defining all senators as "aristocrats", but if that's your choice, then I think you'd want to throw in all Governors- after all, they are "executives". Unless you have some sort of personal bias that sways your judgment in this situation...

    btw... have you read my reactions to the speech? I wondered what your reaction would be.

  18. So you are not comfortable with defining all Senators as aristocrats, yet I see that over on your blog you define all the Republican delegates (from every single State in the Union) as "homogeneous, Midwestern Republicans." (Aristocrats are elitists, and in that sense, Obama, McCain and Biden are aristocrats, except that while Obama stuck to the aristocratic mold in making his VP pick, McCain broke out of it, showing us also his "maverick" streak., Between them, Biden and Obama have nearly forty years in the Senate; McCain adds another twenty-two years. That was the reasoning behind my facetious response to the Pewster's equally facetious conundrum.)

    Governors do not meet together every weekday in an exclusive club atmosphere, Merge Divide, so no, I would not include them. Nor are they elected for six-year terms. There is nothing in our government to equal the elitism and exclusivity of the United States Senate.

    As for the rest of your post on Gov. Palin's speech, I see also that commenters over at your blog have already made many of the points I would raise in response. When I have more time (I'm currently trying to enjoy a vacation, and am keeping blogging to a minimum), I will show you the illogic in your attacks on Sarah Palin for being a narrow-minded, parochial Alaskan socialist, but here and now are just not the place or the time, alas. Until then, keep learning, and keep blogging!

  19. A.S.,

    I defined the group as "homogeneous, Midwestern Republicans." I thought that was clear.

    "There is nothing in our government to equal the elitism and exclusivity of the United States Senate."

    We are never going to agree on that, and I think it's a semantic argument anyway.

    I appreciate the measured and diplomatic response, and hope you enjoy your vacation time.