Sunday, October 26, 2008

Return, Palinite

I'm a Palinite. No, I'm not an expert Palinite, but I have some good instincts and some experience in life that qualifies me to call myself a Palinite in good conscience. I want a return to America. I have no desire for the continuance of meaningless expertise in public lives. I want excellence instead. I want a return to average and normal: Saras.

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health Education and Welfare under JFK and author of "Excellence."

Two things I like? Plumbing and Philosophy. Maybe yes it's because I'm full of shit. Maybe certainly I'm no expert at either Philosophy or plumbing. But I do know something about both. No, not an expert, but still I have some idea of things, practical and plumb.

Below we have a number of stories on amateurs and experts and blogs and media pros. Maybe plumbers shouldn't have opinions about Philosophy; but if so, then one will hope philosophers don't ever opine on the nature of plumbing. Nor should novelists ever deal in fiction. In such a world, we'd all stay home, if we're carpenter, and freeze in the dark, assuming we're not electricians.

First, a book review, in media res, for all of our Latin speaking Romans:

Since Andrew Keen is so instinctively dismissive about amateur contributors to the internet - people like me - it's hardly surprising that I should instinctively dismiss his book, so let me declare an interest right away: I like Web 2.0. I've been a contributor to it - through Amazon customer reviews, Wikipedia, discussion forums, MySpace, Napster and so on - for nearly a decade now, and I've followed the emergence of the political movement supporting it, exemplified by writers such as Larry Lessig and Yochai Benkler, with some fascination. and no, I've never made a dime out of it (though I have been sent a few books to review, not including this one).

Andrew Keen is that classic sort of British reactionary: the sort that would bemoan the loss of the word "gay" to the English language, and regret the damage caused by industrial vacuum cleaners on the chimney sweeping industry. His book is an impassioned, but simple-minded, hearkening to those simpler times which concludes that our networked economy has pointlessly exalted the amateur, ruined the livelihood of experts, destroyed incentives for creating intellectual property, delivered to every man-jack amongst us the ability - never before possessed - to create and distribute our own intellectual property and monkeyed around mischievously with the title to property wrought from the very sweat of its author's brow.

Keen thinks this is a bad thing; but that is to assume that the prior state of affairs was unimpeachably good. You don't have to be a paranoid Chomskyite to see the pitfalls of concentrated mass media ownership (Keen glosses over them), or note that the current intellectual property regime - which richly rewards a few lucky souls and their publishers at the expense of millions of less fortunate (but not, necessarily, less talented) ones, isn't the only way one could fairly allocate the risks and rewards of intellectual endeavour.

Keen's world is one where there is a transcendental reality; a truth, purveyed by experts, trained journalists, and in great danger of dissolution by the radically relativised truths of Wikipedia where the community sets the agenda, and if two plus two equals five, then it is five. So much Big Brother: Orwell's novel gets repeated mention, it apparently having escaped Keen that a media owned by a concentrated, cross-held clique of corporate interests - which is what the old economy perpetuated - looks quite a lot more totalitarian than publishing capacity distributed to virtually every person on the planet.

Keen laments the loss of a "sanctity of authorship" of the sort which vouchsafed to Messrs Jagger and Richards (and their recording company) a healthy lifetime's riches for the fifteen minutes it took to compose and record Satisfaction (notwithstanding their debt - doubtless unpaid - to divers blues legends from Robert Johnson to Chuck Berry) and seems to believe individual creativity will be suddenly stifled by undermining it. There's no evidence for this (certainly not judging by MySpace, the proliferation of blogs, Wikipedia, and so forth, as Keen patiently recounts), and no reason I can see for supposing it to be true on any other grounds.

On the contrary, Yale law professor Yochai Benkler in his excellent (and freely available!) The Wealth Of Networks has a much more sophisticated analysis: there is a non-market wealth of information and expertise - residing in heads like yours and mine - which the networked economy has finally unlocked, for the benefit of all, and at the cost of the poor substitute that preceded it. That this might have compromised the gargantuan earnings capacity of one latter day Rolling Stones (to the incremental benefit of a few thousand others) is far less of a travesty - and more of a boon - than Keen thinks it is. Now rock bands have to sing for their supper. Keen may regret that but, as a concert goer, I sure don't.

Keen also, irritatingly, keeps returning to the Monkeys and Typewriters analogy (writes your dear correspondent, a monkey). It is true there may not be much talent behind the infinite typewriters, but the evolutionary lesson is that there doesn't need to be, as long as we have tools, be they Google algorithms or manual reputation management devices (things like Amazon's "helpful review" voting buttons) to sort the wheat from the chaff. And like it or not, we do have these tools: they're the sine non qua of Web 2.0, the thing without which it would never have got off the ground.

And Wikipedia (or Linux, or eBay, or Amazon's customer review system) is potent evidence of that. That there are notorious cases, a few of which Keen recounts, doesn't detract from the fact that Wikipedia is largely comprised of brilliant articles, with helpful links and useful surrounding discussion, a complete history, and those articles that aren't so good are obviously not: all you need to pack for a visit is your critical faculties. Again, if the choice were blind faith in Encyclopaedia Britannica or a skeptical read of Wikipedia, I know which I'd have, and which I'd counsel for my children - especially since Wikipedia is automatically up-to-date, preternaturally following the zeitgeist, and replete with good know-how on things that Britannica would never have in a million years. Most of the time, we don't need a Nobel-prize certified article, and in Britannica wouldn't get one anyway, if what we wanted to know about was "The Knights who say 'Ni'."

Elsewhere Keen misunderstands Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Correspondence Theory of Truth, implies that traditional media isn't systemically biased, assumes his fellow men have no sense of skepticism whatever (because something is watched on YouTube, Keen assumes it is necessarily believed true), and constantly fails to see the double standards in his own arguments: Complaining that traditional media is losing out to a swarm of unpaid, under-resourced amateurs, Keen suddenly remarks "but in reality it's often those with the loudest, most convincing message, and the most money to spread it, who are being heard". Plus ca change, eh?

Lastly, Keen laments the passing of specialist record and book shops like Tower, whose "unparalleled" and "remarkably diverse selection" will be lost to us for ever. Clearly he's no online shopper then, since dear old Amazon would lick all of them put together - but Amazon, he says, lacks the dedicated expertise of sales assistants that could have stepped out of Nick Hornby's Hi Fidelity. Except that it doesn't, since it has literally millions of them - people like you and me - who can offer our tuppence worth gladly and without thought of recompense.

The thing is, there *is* a debate to be had here, though not quite the apocalyptic one that this author believes is necessary, and at times Keen touches on it, but his brimming prurience and needless moral disgust - at the cost of level-headed analysis and exposition - towards a community which has simply adjusted to the new social environment more quickly than traditional political and business models have makes this a poor entry for the purposes of kicking off that debate.

In the mean time, Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom and Lawrence Lessig's Code: Version 2.0 (neither of which Keen seems to have read) might be a better place for interested persons to start.

Olly Buxton

Now, as it turns out, I am a blogger, one of the infamous few who isn't making a killing from this business. Below we have a different take on blogging from that given by the most excellent Sir Whatshisname above.

Hannah Strange, "The final showdown: reactions from the blogosphere."

Bloggers may not be a homogeneous group, but they are an educated and affluent one, according to a new survey measuring the current state of the blogosphere. Seventy percent of all global bloggers are college graduate, half are between the ages of 18 an 34, and 40 percent have a household income more than $75.00.00, [a] survey found.

And while blogging has only recently exploded in mainstream popularity, at least 50 percent of the bloggers surveyed have engaged in online commentary for more than two years and, collectively, are now generating close to one million posts every day.

The survey was conducted by Technorati as part of a continuing analysis into trends and themes i blogging. As part of the 2008 report, a random sample of 1.2 million bloggers registered with Technorati were asked about: the role of blogging in their lives; the tools, time and resources used to produce their blogs; and how blogging has affected them personally, professionally, and financially.

While the survey was administered in English, responses came from bloggers who publish in 20 different languages in 66 countries. Highlights include:

  • Women make up only 34 percent of active bloggers, but are more sophisticated than male users about various means of driving traffic to their site.
  • The majority of resondants currently have advertising on their bogs, generating a mean annual revenue of $6,000.00 U.S.
  • One in five Asian bloggers is a student and more likely to write about music than politics; however, Asian bloggers are also three times more likely than bloggers elsewhere in the world to have paid advertising on their site.
  • American bloggers are four times more likely than Europeans to try to make money from their site.
Both personal and professional topics are equally popular, the survey found. Most bloggers write about multiple topics, and about half consider their style to be "sincere, conversational, humorous, and expert."

Gossip or tell-all tales fell to the bottom of the list in self-described styles among the bloggers surveyed. The majority of blogger reveal their identities on their blogs and recognize the positive impact that blogging has on their personal and professional lives. More than half are now better known in their industry and one in five has been on the TV or the radio because of his or her blog.

Personal satisfaction is by far the most popular measure of the bog success, the survey found, though, on average, bloggers use four distinct metrics to gauge their influence, including revenue generated and the numbers of subscribers or comments.

For the complete survey, go to

Here I jump in again briefly with an introduction to Th. Lifson's article on the MSM. [Boo! Hiss!]

Thomas Lifson, "Newspaper death throes (continued)", American Thinker; 26 Oct. 2008

The Newark Star-Ledger reportedly plans to reduce its newsroom staff by half, according to the Associated Press. The editor is quoted as saying that 151 out of 335 editorial employees have so far accepted buyouts.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post chronicles the troubles of the AP itself, in a piece by Jay Newton-Small. The article notes the increasing reliance of the AP on news analysis and and editorializing, as opposed to straight news gathering, but oddly focuses on Ron Fournier, who is a rare AP staffer not in the left-liberal camp.

Increasingly, the AP is becoming a competitor of the newspapers which own it as a cooperative). Major papers, including the Tribune Company biggies (LA Times, Chicago Tribune) the Star-Tribune, and others are dropping the AP, reducing its revenue base.

Jerry Malone, a veteran journalist "who truly bleeds ink when I'm cut" laments the decline and fall of American journalism, declaring himself ashamed to admit he's a journalist now. He suggests that the dying industry may be sacrificing its integrity by blatantly shaping the news to support Obama for reasons of its own:

I learned a long time ago that when people or institutions begin to behave in a manner that seems to be entirely against their own interests, it's because we don't understand what their motives really are. It would seem that by so exposing their biases and betting everything on one candidate over another, the traditional media is trying to commit suicide - especially when, given our currently volatile world and economy, the chances of a successful Obama presidency, indeed any presidency, is probably less than 50:50. [....] are facing career catastrophe -- and desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if you have to risk everything on a single Hail Mary play. Even if you have to compromise the principles that got you here. After all, newspapers and network news are doomed anyway - all that counts is keeping them on life support until you can retire.

And then the opportunity presents itself: an attractive young candidate whose politics likely matches yours, but more important, he offers the prospect of a transformed Washington with the power to fix everything that has gone wrong in your career. With luck, this monolithic, single-party government will crush the alternative media via a revived Fairness Doctrine, re-invigorate unions by getting rid of secret votes, and just maybe, be beholden to people like you in the traditional media for getting it there.

And besides, you tell yourself, it's all for the good of the country . . .

Oh, the world is ending and it's all a big catastrophe, not anything like when I was a boy, back in the good old days. Polio and the Cold War and famines in India. Great.

Then came the hippies, and look at the mess we have now. So we do what we do, and we do our best, expert or no. Personally, I have more faith in you than I do in Obama. You, who are likely like Sarah Palin, (if you are) inspire me. No experience? Come on!? I might not want you changing my car brakes but I think you're likely as well-informed as the next person about things that matter in life. If hundreds of Sarah Palins would go to Washington--as our representatives-- then I'd feel good about America for the duration. We don't need your expertise in foreign affairs. We need a return to America. We need palin, "again" a "return." That's why today I'm not an expert but that I am in spite of that at least a minor Palinite. Return my America to the people. Any decent person can do it. Expert or no.

You can do it, excellent Palinite.


truepeers said...

Seems like even Sarah is doing a Palin. I mean I hate the G&M, but you gotta laugh when they recognize the "rogue Palin"

Time for us to learn from the women bloggers and the money makers!

Dag said...

This gal is a winner, not because of who she is but because who she is is what she is: an excellent palin of Americanism. I'm excited by her presence on the horizon. She and hundreds like her can remake our nation into the Good. No, not with false promise like Barama but by being the ordinary and fallible woman she is.

Then let's suffer the Osama Barka period and emerge in triumph a later day.

Meanwhiles, I'll keep cranking out this kind of pithy potht and we'll all get rich and famous!

Anonymous said...

“We don't need your expertise in foreign affairs.”

I was almost inclined to believing that statement 8 years ago. Well, not exactly; just among the top elected officials. I figured Bush the Second was smart enough to get out of the way and let the experts run the show. As it turned out, he really enjoyed foreign policy. And he was green enough to be manipulated by people who had views that were very much divorced from reality (let’s democratize a fractured Arab Muslim country!). The last couple of years haven’t been too bad, but my read of the current situation is that some of the ‘realist’ foreign policy experts have taken control of the ship. And Bush’s views seem to have evolved, so he is at least learning from previous failures.

When I see Palin, I see signs of the subtly insulting way the Republican elite view America. Screw knowledge or capability, what Real America wants is pure cultural politics. A woman who can talk moose hunting and, on Sunday’s, interpret the babbling of a man possessed by the Holy Spirit. To Palin’s credit, she is smart enough to know she is a symbol, downplaying the crusading reformer angle and playing up the rural hick (errr, Real American). I suspect that if she was to rise to the presidency Mrs. Palin would likely have a foreign policy experience similar to Bush’s, getting manipulated by opportunistic jack-offs into pursuing reckless policies and slowly learning on the job how not to step into giant piles of shit.


Dag said...

What? have you taken to smoking pot now? No coffee till you straighten out and at least write at the level you used to, disagreeable or not. This kind of nonsense isn't even obnoxious, it's just worthless.

Anonymous said...

Worthless eh? Alright. She is still playing to identity politics big time. Not the worst thing in the world; simply lame in my opinion.

Your argument against foreign policy experience is thin, to be generous. Who would you rather have running East Asian policy: Palin or Chris Hill? Who do you want running the mid-east desk: Nicholas Burns or Joe the Plumber? At least with Obama I can expect he’ll side with the experts. With Palin, well, God knows what she’ll do. It isn’t clear she had any opinions on foreign policy prior to her VP nomination. But, dontcha know, her hubby races snow machines, which makes her ignorance adorable somehow.


Dag said...

NA, thanks for returning to this topic in spite of my momentary crankiness, which I think by now you must be familiar with to the point of not taking it too seriously. That, by the way, is an apology.

Palin, as you point out, is "playing to identity politics big time. Not the worst thing in the world; simply lame in my opinion."

That's the point I'm hoping to make, though I see this as entirely positive rather than lame, (a poor choice of metaphors, if I may be so bold.) I'll come back to this shortly. Sorry for the delay.

Your argument against foreign policy experience is thin, to be generous. Who would you rather have running East Asian policy: Palin or Chris Hill? Who do you want running the mid-east desk: Nicholas Burns or Joe the Plumber? At least with Obama I can expect he’ll side with the experts. With Palin, well, God knows what she’ll do. It isn’t clear she had any opinions on foreign policy prior to her VP nomination. But, dontcha know, her hubby races snow machines, which makes her ignorance adorable somehow.

Dag said...

The argument in favor of Palin is one of identity, if we can look at it as "who she is," if we can look at identity as "character" rather than as the pseudo-intellectual construct of "identity." Character, if you will, is more than persona, more than a mask an actor wears on stage to give the audience an impression of ones role. In this sense, one is ones identity; and Plain is a person I like because she is who and therefore is what I like. She not only has character, and she is not only a character, she has "character." She has what in the old days one would refer to as a selfhood of goodness. It is her mettle. Compare that to Plato's version of character, looking to his 'Myth of the Metals." You are asking me to confuse the two and come out in favor of determinism based on race and privilege, though I think you won't agree to that on the face of it. Palin is not of a class of professional Philosopher Kings imbued with gnosis. She is of herself, and that, her character, is her authority. She's a good woman. The rest is more or less bunkum.

"Who would you rather have running East Asian policy: Palin or Chris Hill? Who do you want running the mid-east desk: Nicholas Burns or Joe the Plumber?"

Frankly, if it were me, I'd have my best aid in dealing with China in the worst gangster in Chinatown. An d for the Middle East, I'd find some total low-life Nigerian scammers to advise me. those are people I'd look to for advice because I'd want real experience in dealing with bad people who have their own and not my interest at heart. Takes one to know one. What I wouldn't want in dealing with hostile regimes is some prissy and effete ivy-league intellectual telling me about diplomacy and international law. Lucky for you I'm not in charge of anything. Instead, you get, with luck, Sarah Palin and some normal and decent middle-class common sense, which i seem to recall we have had some disagreement over the value of. But it is that solid common-sense approach to things that I admire in Sarah Palin. Having lots of facts and contacts is of no use if one is blinded by the arrogance of elitism. Few get sucked in deeper and faster by scammers than smart people. That's why one relies on character to save the day. That's why I love Sarah Palin. She is very much not like me. We can count on her to do the right thing according to her own character, consistently; and we know that's based on solid principles of goodness, to be quite old-fashioned on my part. Credentials, I don't care. I want a good person in charge of things political, not an expert in politics.

"At least with Obama I can expect he’ll side with the experts."

Experts, my friend, are a dime a dozen, and not worth the price. I, like many others, have my field of expertise, and it's not worth a damn in the world. Those who share my expertise are no better able to act morally than I based on it. We don't agree on basics even within our field. No, not even the basics. So, which experts would Obama choose? And why would we have confidence that they are actually any better than those without but who have character? We don't need experts in politics; we need politicians of excellence in being. There you can argue that Palin fails. I argue that she's better than any of the others. The beauty of democratic government is that we can vote for our respective visions.

"With Palin, well, God knows what she’ll do. It isn’t clear she had any opinions on foreign policy prior to her VP nomination."

Foreign policy isn't the reason for being in politics, to mix my message. Palin's reason to be in politics is undoubtedly a matter of her personality. She's driven. But her "reason for being" as a politician has nothing to do with foreign policy. That has nothing to do with training but to do with personhood. I can't recall at this moment the German emperor who wrote in a diplomatic dispatch, (effectively), "Any fool could do this job." He's dead right; and the proof is that he was a fool who did the job. Sarah Palin is not a fool, and no moreso than is "Joe the plumber."

We don't need experts in any particular field to be politicians. Politics is no more complicated to day than at some other time in history. We need honest and decent people in office. That shouldn't bring to mind a simpleton. it likely does, which is why it is important to have Sarah Palin and palins like her in office in this time:

By chance, Palin is the Greek word for "return", or for "again", or "repeat." We do not need more of the same in politics. I don't mean we don't need another George Bush. I mean we do not need "experts" who impress only each other at best with trivial arcana. We need a return to "America as identity." We need a return to traditional America, epitomized by Sarah Palin as person with palin character.

We don't need "hope and change and ya ya." We need America as revolutionary nation, which is what the character of Sarah Palin shows fully. The change we need, and the one we can hope for, is the return of America as it was before the advent of the Death Hippies, as I'm so pleased to call the Obama followers. We need a modern Cincinnatus. We would like a modern Solon, but we should be very happy to have Sarah Palin, ordinary woman with extraordinary character. She is the best of America as it is at its best, not s expert and suave and hop and cool; America as it is in its fineness as a place for all the world's people to live in peace and the pursuit of happiness. But most people don't know enough American history to understand what that means, thinking there is no good America. That is why we need Sarah Palin and the palinites: to restore America as America objective, not America as human breast-milk Ben and Jerry's ice-cream America.

To know what America should be, one must know what America was; and that is seen very clearly in the being of Sarah Palin. We need her and many many more palins in office. If we are fortunate, there are still enough plains left to recognize her and vote for her and those like her, i.e. Americans of Americanism. We'll see.

truepeers said...


I think Dag won't make his great break through in political thought until he can marry his Palinism with a vision of how the present expert class can be reincorporated in the return to America. The idea that many have that a freer society will mean less government does not necessarily make sense. More freedom means more conflict and will require people with certain skills is disinterested mediation and in helping frame and make new and complex political and economic markets.

What is really needed in foreign policy today is someone who will make more or less reasonable decisions, who will force direction, of a more or less positive kind, on others, on the transnational elitist do-nothing- less-there-be-victims crowds and on the tyrants of the world, those who would allow the world to decay into complete disorder from fear of risk or change. THe problem with Obama is that he is an obvious wimp and the world's tough guys, and the post-national victimary blackmailers, will play him accordingly. He wants to reconcile everybody to take everyone's side. He is not a decision maker in the midst of tough conflict.

So we need someone who can make decisions, not based on huge amounts of expert advice - there are always a dozen thousand experts to argue every side of a question. We need a few intelligent advisers and someone who can weigh risk in an reasonable fashion and then take the necessary risk based on a character and vision that represents what we are as freedom-loving people.

It's really then that the job for a new expert class will come into play, mediating and framing the new situation in ways that are productive for the march of freedom and modernity.

Dag said...

I don't ewant to give th eimpression I have no respect for experts or expertise, only that the leaderes of politics and the state have to be, in our democracy, citizens first, and those of qualities most of us share as the good. Then, let the leaders choose who to consult for the details. But the vision must come from the ordinary man on the street: how do we the incorporate that vision into reality int he world political sphere. The alternative we face today is expert rule by social engineers who think this is how things should be, i.e. utopians and totalitarians. We need Palins in their places.

truepeers said...

Yes, I agree; we need Palins who can represent the responsibility of the ordinary free man and woman. But it is a genuine concern whether our good ordinary American, rightly in love with her own country, has a clear idea of how different some other countries and peoples are. On the one hand, she needs to have the courage that her (Christian) understanding of a common human reality is in ways superior to that of the Gnostic technocrats who are more interested in their magic than in certain enduring qualities of reality that Palin is probably much more in touch with. On the other hand, she probably needs help in fleshing out her good instincts with a grasp of how reality is mediated quite differently in other cultures. Still at the end of the day I'd trust her to "get" an Iranian Mullah, far more than I'd trust a Brezinsky, or however he spells his bloody name.

Anonymous said...

Dag (and co.)

First, I agree with your response on experts to some extent. My comment is more honestly written "At least with Obama I can expect he’ll side with the experts I agree with.” I tend to have a softness for the non-partisan diplomat who has been hustling in the field for 20 years or so (not all, of course). I like those who are modest in their ambitions of what can be accomplished. The type of person you would have expected Bush II to bring into the executive. Now I should have clearly delineated my preference in foreign policy technocrats from those I want in the executive. In the executive, I would want someone who has the good judgement to call bullshit bullshit. We really need to consider what happened during the Bush II administration. He got caught up in some fantasy notion that he was going to reform the Arabs. Part of the reason he bought into this vision of enacting fundamental societal change through American power is because he was a neophyte with very little curiosity or knowledge about the world. Fair enough, some of his experts were shit, and appealing to expertise then begs the question of ‘whose expertise?’ The lesson to take from Bush II is to avoid the blank slate. Character, however this is understood, is not enough. To be at the helm one needs some depth of knowledge.

I won’t defend a number of remarks I’ve heard Obama make while running for president. The guy isn’t my ideal on this front. Watching where he aligns himself in the Senate and engages in foreign policy debates tells me he has thought about things and will likely run a conventional foreign policy, probably closer to the latter half of Bush’s second administration rather than his first. With McCain, it seems like the lesson he took from Iraq is that the initial force should have been bigger, as this is the thing he really emphasizes (e.g. his criticism of Rumsfeld; his love of the surge, etc). With Palin, God only knows. No, I’ll back up from that. Among the group that pushed hard for Palin was the editorial staff at the Weekly Standard. They want a blank slate. It is much easier to convince a neophyte that neoconservative foreign policy should be given another try. So I do think we have a good idea of which way she would govern foreign policy if she became president within the next year: a lot like Randy Schuemann would.

We aren’t going to agree on our respective readings of Palin as a personality. I don’t see her as a symbol of normal, decent middle-class common sense. She is from the middle-class. And she grew up in a rural setting. But I guess that qualifies both me and most of the people I grew up with for executive office. Hell, I think my last mother’s day card might have said “To an ordinary woman with extraordinary character.” She should run. This idea of small-town values / traditional America has some value as a symbol but it is, at the end of the day, divorced from the realities of governance. I can be impressed with the way politicians can manipulate symbols for political gain but they need some substance to back up their rhetorical manoeuvring. Gov. Palin is good at politically re-inventing her image and has effectively sold herself as the embodiment of a mythology that resonates well with the self-image of Republican voters. On national issues, she doesn’t know enough to handle a press conference. I consider this latter fact to be more decisive in my judgement of her ability as a potential executive.


Dag said...

NA, thanks for the input. I think I have to agree with some if not much of what you write here; but rather than dive in and respond, let me think it through for a day and come back with more than whatever floats to the top of my head in an instant. Good points.