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  • milo

    Ehh, I give this post 2 stars (of a possible 5). It’s not that I disagree with anything, but this is really just a rant. I understand that you don’t like Palin, Beck, etc – and neither do I. But you could have just said that in one paragraph. Take way the bile in this post and there’s no real analysis or policy recommendation left to satisfy the intellect.

    Next time, please go with more Reason and less Emotion, at least in the posts to this blog. Thanks.

  • Chris

    He’s right, but I like that donklephant just turned the shade of periwinkle.

  • Tillyosu

    Wow. I mean, if your central premise is that we should not elect celebrity candidates, simply because they are celebrity candidates, then shouldn’t Barack Obama be Exhibit A? The idea that Mr. Obama has “long since proven to be adept at not only governing, but also at managing public perception” is, well, laughable to say the least. What was your basis for this naked assertion? Was it the persistent slide in his approval numbers? Or how about his utter lack of any foreign or domestic achievements of significance? (Except, of course, spending a trillion dollars on…nothing). Nay, Mr. Obama has proven to be a most inept executive. He is truly the first American Idol president, whose election represented the dumbing down of an American electorate more enamored with good looks and a cool demeanor, than with serious policy experience.

  • Towwb

    If we’re not going to elect candidates based on popularity, what should we elect them based on? You seem to argue for policy, but who decides what is good policy? Or appropriate intelligence? If it’s the American people, then you just have another popularity contest.

  • Welcome to Donklephant, Kyle!

    If you look at unsuccessful candidates for President throughout history, you will find some stunning examples of people who decide to run because they are successful or popular in other areas. In my lifetime, that includes people like Ralph Nader (who just ran again) Pat Buchanan (who won the important NH primary) and Ross Perot (who had the highest poll numbers of any independent before flaming out). There were calls for non-political people like auto executive Lee Iacocca to run in the 1980s. It has been this way for the last 100 years (at least).

    Rather than being a sign of being in the proverbial hand basket on the way to hell, it is the sign of a functioning democracy. The founders did not put many qualifications in the way of running for President … you have to be a natural born citizen and of a certain age … but you don’t need very much political experience (Abe Lincoln, John Kennedy), or be a veteran political figure who is well respected before obtaining office (Lyndon Johnson).

    Palin had as much experience as many candidates for President (arguably more than Senator Obama had), and is viable at this point in time. But “front runners” this far ahead of time are usually mere footnotes in history; we never had a President Muskie, President Hart, or President Seward.

  • To emphasize Hagan’s point Hillary lost.

    The problem with celebrity candidates is that nobody agrees on exactly what counts. IMO Palin counts because she’s never been able to articulate a sensible position on many issues.

    For example her take on Israeli settlements: “Jewish settlements should be allowed to expand” is technically the Hamas party line. They want to drive the Israeli government into the sea, so they can set up a new country based on Sharia law. If Jews stay great. More taxpayers means bigger minarets.

    We all know what she meant, but come on. Talk about rookie mistakes.

  • Chris

    Lol tilly does the same thing s/he criticizes kyle about, too funny.

  • Derrick Gaskin

    The glaring omission in this article is Al Franken. At least Palin was a Governor. Franken is and always will be a goofball. Your bias is apparent. Part of the job when posting on this website is intellectual honesty. If you can’t point out the stupidity in your own party/group, then you do not belong here. I personally think that Palin, Beck and Dobbs are devoid of ideas, but President Obama has recently requested the extension of the Patriot Act after campaigning against it. Hope and Change baby, Hope and change.

  • As the election cycles press continually on, each election requires ever greater funding to have even a chance at success, banking more on populist gut feelings than policy, reputation, or even ability, and this trend seems to be reaching a breaking point that will soon decide whether or not the country will soon resemble the vane inanity that is American Idol.

    Right. Roughly the premise of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, I think. And worth worrying about. But so far our system has shown itself to be remarkably immune to populism and celebrity appeal at its highest levels.At lower levels, it has more power, and that makes sense to me. Plus, if one has any concern about entrenched political power, then you have to want populism and celebrity as available tools against them. Maybe not the first choices, but… .

    Over the last few months of tumultuous political divide, it has become increasingly clear that the Republican answer to President Obama in 2012 will be to position someone with a public and party-favored persona in opposition

    I’m not sure why this is something that had to become clear in the months after the election. Isn’t this what the party not holding the oval office does every time? What am I missing?

    The early days of a Presidential campaign, masqueraded as a book tour for a rambling memoir about nothing, has stated for Alaska blogger Sarah Palin what she will refuse to admit, and it has her supporters cavorting about with glee, ignoring the fact that she has less relevant experience than Barack Obama did before becoming President, likely has a severely low IQ, and, most importantly, quit her only political position to focus on being more rich and popular.

    For starters, never try to say in one sentence that which calls for 3. Like others, I get that you don’t like Palin. But to fair-minded folks. Palin’s experience was pretty comparable to Obama’s. Opinions vary on giving a small nod to one or the other, but it strains credulity to call a blowout on actual resume items.

    Palin just doesn’t have the same aptitude as Obama. There are many skilled politicians who speak well and are well-versed in policy details and the ins and outs of complex issues. Compared to such folks, Palin is IMO an obvious lightweight. Go ahead and say she’s a bit out of her league. But it disturbs me to hear you say she “likely has a severely low IQ.” I expect the posters at Donklephant to traffic in better than that. Save those kinds of pearls for Huffington post or little green footballs, please.

    @Frank: You really think Palin is viable? Care to say more? I guess I think that she is technically viable in the sense that she has as good a chance currently at winning the 2012 GOP nomination as guys like Huckabee and Romney. But at the same time, I think her ceiling tops out at around 40 percent or so. I think that if she’s the 2012 nom she’ll get pounded like a tent stake. Unless Obama gets caught screwing a gay crack whore _and_ the dollar collapses.

  • kranky, Palin is “viable” in the sense that she is popular and represents the cultural values held by about 20% of the population (and a lot of the cultural conservatives, perhaps the majority, that are active in the GOP). She does very well in friendly forums, town hall meetings, talk radio, etc. So right now, at this point in time, she is viable. I don’t think she can really win the nomination, much less the Presidency. I think she will not do well in the early primary states like New Hampshire, even if she wins in Iowa (which is always a possibility).

    Political junkies often make the mistake of equating intelligence and values, leading to the idea that people holding different values are less intelligent. Palin strikes a chord with an active segment of the GOP base. She has a degree, held a governorship, and is successful juggling family and job.

    I like Palin a lot on the personal level, but don’t think she will make a good choice if the GOP wants to win. Elections are won by people who don’t scare moderates. Moderates are the swing voters and really decide our elections. And religious conservatives scare moderates. Demonizing religious conservatives is a favorite wedge issue of the left, and I don’t think any national candidate can overcome that issue.

  • blackout

    What is it with these debut columns? Woof. This makes yours look like Paine’s Common Sense, Frank.

  • Over the last few months of tumultuous political divide, it has become increasingly clear that the Republican answer to President Obama in 2012 will be to position someone with a public and party-favored persona in opposition

    I’m not sure why this is something that had to become clear in the months after the election. Isn’t this what the party not holding the oval office does every time? What am I missing?

    The Dems didn’t do it to Bush. Their leading Presidential candidates supported the tax cuts and the war. Heck Teddy Kennedy helped Bush pass Medicare Part D (he voted against the final bill, but he supported earlier versions). The anti-war faction really really wanted Pelosi et al. to play hard-ball with war funding.

    Historically such opposition is pretty rare. In the old days there was always a faction of Conservative Dixiecrats willing to work with Conservative GOP Presidents, and moderate-to-liberal Northeastern Republicans willing to work with Liberal Democrats. Obviously the right-wing faction of the GOP was always solidly against the left-wing Dem faction but in the past you wouldn’t have 39 of 40 GOP Senators implacably opposed to an initiative. Especially one that’s so close to the GOP plan in ’94.

  • Nick, Really, I’m sorry, but I think your argument is preposterous. You are suggesting that John Kerry’s 2004 campaign did not fit the description “the democratic answer to President Bush in 2004 was to position someone with a public and party-favored persona in opposition.”

    I’d like to understand. If you could, please explain to me why Kerry and his campaign were not a public and party-favored persona in opposition to Bush and his policies. In your answer, please include the point that the Iraq war was the biggest issue in many folks minds.

  • The difference is Kerry et al. spent a few years in governing mode before they went into campaign mode.

    For example Bush’s major domestic accomplishment in his first year (No Child Left Behind) was co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy. Kennedy thought it was a good idea, so Kennedy went to bat for it. In ’94 many of these GOP Senator signed onto a health plan similar to the current Senate bill so it’s a bit surprising that all of them are implacably opposed to it.

    Unless they’re in campaign mode…

  • I didn’t ask you what the difference was between Kerry and Bush. (Look! A rabbit!).

    I asked you why the description doesn’t fit Kerry.

    Ir does, and you know it. It fits virtually all cases. It’s a truism, for crying out loud. I agree with you that Kerry and Bush are different. It’s just that that it bears no relevance to my initial claim which you challenged.

  • You asked about a relationship between Kerry and Bush. You wanted to know why we weren’t saying Kerry opposed Bush for opposition’s sake. In your mind it may be possible to talk about that relationship without mentioning Bush, but sorry. I can’t do it. Not that smart.

    And I told you:
    It doesn’t fit Kerry because that guy didn’t start opposing for opposition’s sake until well into Bush’s first term.

    Otherwise he wouldn’t have been a flip-flopper.

    You want another example just look at everything every Republican President managed to do between 1930 and 2000. All of them dealt with Democratic Congresses, and all of them managed to pass at least some of their priorities.

    The Democrats had to deal with GOP Senate some of the time, and nonetheless most of them actually managed to do stuff. Note that up until LBJ a filibuster was even easier — you only needed 1/3 + 1 Senator to sustain it, not 40% + 1, and before the Byrd Rule a filibuster shut the Senate down completely.