Thursday, September 18, 2008

Come on, Governor...that's too safe

I watched Sarah Palin’s interview with Sean Hannity and now have my first official criticisms of the Governor. First, I think Hannity did well. Yes, he offered a few lollipop questions but also asked some tough ones. He was cordial but not biased, and he clearly showed that his intent was to give his viewers info on the candidate, not try to trap her with ambiguous questions. It was obvious that Palin was more at ease. With Charles Gibson, she seemed to have her guard up waiting for that gotcha moment, and considering the treatment she’s had from the press I can’t blame her. It was good to see her more relaxed and ready to discuss issues.

All in all, Palin did a good job. She has a tendency to get wordy with answers but her basic ideals and principles don’t suffer as a result. She will get better at this with time. By far her strong point on policy is energy. This woman knows energy and she is clearly excited by it. We most definitely need someone like that in Washington, someone who has and will take on big oil and BOTH parties on this issue. Word of advice for you liberals, if you can put aside your partisanship for a moment and actually listen to what she has to say on energy you may be surprised at how much you agree with. For what it’s worth.

Now, the criticism…two things. First, Hannity asked her if the Republicans in Congress let the American people down. Palin gave an indirect answer that suggested she agreed with this, but danced around way too much. She said the Republicans in Congress need to work more to put government back on the side of the people, blah, blah, talking point. She didn’t give a resounding “yes” to the question. This was a mistake. The right answer is “yes” the GOP in Congress have let us down. Their behavior was unacceptable and is exactly why they were voted out in 2006. The Republicans were behaving like Democrats, and that’s not why the people voted them into Washington. I was a little disappointed she didn’t hammer on them more.

Next, Hannity asked who was to blame for the credit meltdown. She gave the standard all-too-easy answer…Wall Street corruption. Come on, Governor. That’s way too safe, and safe is not your style. You know damn well that it’s not just Wall Street at fault. It’s irresponsible homebuyers. It’s bad lending practices. It’s senior executives who doctor the books to get their colleagues big bonuses, and one of those executives headed Barack Obama’s vice presidential search committee. It’s Congress who failed to reel in these GSEs with transparency and oversight. She didn’t even mention Pelosi outright denying that Congress shared in the blame for this. It’s Congressional activity that pressured lenders to finance more mortgages for the lower class in order to have a more diverse population in home ownership. This is called social engineering and it failed. It’s the President for not being more vocal towards Congress to take action. And it’s certain members of his cabinet who failed to do their job. There’s lots of blame to share among lots of people.

Yes, some corruption on Wall Street played a role, but using them as the easy scapegoat overlooks the vastness of the problem. Social engineering may be well-intended, but it is a miserable failure and should never be visited again. She didn’t mention Bush’s attempt to reform Fannie Mae in 2003, or McCain’s co-sponsor of reform in 2005, both of which were shot down by the Dems and a few Repukes in Congress. She didn’t mention Barney Frank, chair of the Congessional Banking Committee who bogged down in this committee any legislation aimed at reforming Fannie Mae. She didn’t mention Obama as the third largest senate benefactor of Fannie Mae campaign contributions, behind only Chris Dodd and John Kerry.

Instead, it was “wall street corruption”. Very disappointing.

McCain’s campaign is missing this issue completely and falling in line with the Dems. Memo to McCain: that’s what lost the 2006 mid-term elections for the GOP. Maybe he wants to avoid criticism after Obama’s out-of-touch charge when he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Maybe he doesn’t want to be politically incorrect. Who knows? But McCain needs to get his act together on this issue and start giving some straight talk to Americans who desperately need to hear it. Blaming wall street, and only wall street will ensure we repeat these mistakes at a much higher cost.

Now, McCain-Palin still have my support but they are off-track on this issue big time. They need to roll up their sleeves and be much more candid. I think the voters will respond much better than they are to the usual safe scapegoating.


Anonymous said...


We both realize that the credit crisis is complicated and there is plenty of blame to go around. Nevertheless, I implore you not to attempt to place serious blame where it does not exist or to misplace such blame where it does exist.

The policy of making available money for mortgage was a governmental policy. It was an economic policy not "social engineering." It wasn't a bad policy. It only went off the track when loans were made that had a high potential of non payment, and we have discussed this issue elsewhere.

If it were not for the subprime mortgage fiasco, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not be in trouble, Bear Sterns would not have been taken over, Merril Lynch would not have been sold, Lehmann Bros would not have failed, and the govet would not have to bail out AIG.

As I have said b/f, if you want to balme Congress for something, blame it for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Finance Moderization Act.

Nearly all of the stupid and nasty financuial vehicles that grew out of the subprime mess were not even subject to regulation.


Auntyem said...

I didn't watch the Hannity and Gibson interviews in their entirety, but I caught enough to see that Palin talks too much and round about and doesn't really answer questions, probably because she has no opinion or hasn't had time to examine the new issues before her. She gives a lot of non-answers or the same pat answers all the time.

With Mr. Gibson, she seemed uptight, visibly holding her breath sometimes, and her left eye kept twitching out of nervousness. She seemed more relaxed with Hannity, but I think she gave off the feeling she would rather not have to do these interviews. She is not as good at them as Hillary.

I know that in Alaska she depends a lot on her husband to define her policies. I heard that he has sat in on her meetings in the governor's office. No other spouse has been known to do that. I saw where they showed government records from some meetings where they said, "Todd this, Todd that, Todd thinks, Todd says", and he is not a government employee.

It is rumored that Todd Palin is called the "shadow governor", and some people have thought of wearing pins that say, "What would Todd do?" That is scary. If the McCain-Palin ticket wins, that puts her one heart-beat away from the Presidency. I don't want "Todd" making decisions for her at that level.

Everyone wonders why McCain chose Palin, when even Hillary couldn't break that glass ceiling on her own. It is said McCain admires her husband, that he likes him because he is "crazy", meaning he likes to live on the edge, I guess. I wonder how much of the "top gun" attitude is left in McCain, even after the brutality he suffered as a POW. He once put out the lights in a big part of Spain when, as a lark, he tried to take his plane under the wires between two towers.

I also can't forget the cruel joke he made about the teen-age Chelsea Clinton being "so ugly because her father is Janet Reno [Pres. Clinton's Atty General, a mannish looking tall lday]". Awful! And the word "gooks" still escapes from his lips from time to time, but then most Vietnam era guys are guilty of that. He left his wife for another more attractive woman, leaving me wondering if women to him are just trophies, so I am puzzled that he chose a woman for his ticket.

I have felt that McCain should have won the first time he ran, that the country would be in better shape now; even he said, "I can't believe I lost to this guy", so the resentment of Bush has been stewing there a long time.

I've said here before that I am no feminist, don't think women with small children should be out of the home, girls need to be watched like a hawk the way my mother did us girls. Kids in Alaska can get in trouble with sex and drugs and alcohol like they do in Iceland because there are many times they can't do anything but stay indoors due to the extreme weather.

All in all, I guess she is no better than any other politician; she left Wassila in debt after getting bonds to pay for an NHL equivilent hockey rink where there were cost overruns the bonds didn't cover, as often happens in those deals. She is no intellectual, either, being she cut the budget there for the museum and library. But they got their hockey rink; guess that was the priority. They go ga-ga over her shooting animals, and that is fine if the meat is consumed, but I hate the fact that she shoots wolves from an airplane. That is just blood lust. Not an attractive attribute for anyone.

Port Orchard, WA

John Washburn said...

Emilie, controlling wolf population is very important in that part of the country, as any rancher or farmer will tell you.

As for Todd Palin, I have seen no evidence that he is the "brains" behind the governor. Until then, I'll cast that aside with other media-driven falsities about the Palins.

I do know that Sarah Palin is self-made, she didn't achieve things on the coat-tails of a father or husband.

And I've also seen no evidence of McCain's mistreatment of women. We can speculate all we want, but the fact is we don't know what happened with his first marriage. Let's be fair about it.