Entries tagged as ‘katherine harris’

Everywoman Spends $150,000 on Clothes

October 22, 2008 · Leave a Comment

It turns out that the Republican National Committee has shelled out $150,000 for Palin’s wardrobe since her selection as McCain’s running mate.

Now I’m sure that it’s important that candidates look good, photograph well, and not be caught in the same outfit across multiple nearly concurrent photo opportunities. I’m also sure that it’s more expensive to appropriately outfit a woman candidate than a man, because the reality is that a man can get away with a few good suits, a few shirts, and an extensive collection of snappy ties, while women’s fashion requires greater variety and more special outfits.

The reason that I think this story is interesting is because of what it says about the candidate, and what it says about her party.

As for the candidate, the reality is that you simply can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a person of the people, the common man or woman, and imply, as Palin does, that she is from the “real, pro-America” part of the country, with all of her down-homeisms and appeals to small town virtues, and then blow $150,000 of donor’s money on your outfits while the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression is happening and scaring the beejeezus out of the country.

The second reason is that I think it reveals what a lot of people have come to believe – that the Republicans have been most excited about Palin because she looks good. Clearly they didn’t care about her lack of experience, education or intelligence. But she looks great in a tight sweater (just like Katherine Harris – see http://hatepalin.com/2008/10/sarahs-future/).  And I think that the cynical and sexist Republican party looked no further, and was willing to open the purse strings to make sure she did just that.  Look good.

In all fairness, I’m sure it’s very difficult to find a conservative, attractive, young-ish woman in the Republican party.  Most of the much more qualified Republican women of stature are older, and wouldn’t address McCain’s glaring age issue.  And the Republican party has not been especially welcoming to women or embraced issues of particular importance to women.  As a result, there simply aren’t as many women in the party who have been elected to office.  So McCain and the RNC did their desperate “hail Palin” long pass into the endzone.  Just like in football, it’s high risk, and it fails more often than it succeeds.

But when you’re down and time is running out you take bigger risks.  And, apparently, you need more expensive clothes too.

Categories: Palin · Palintology · Politics
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McCain-Palin Try to Disenfranchise New Voters

October 18, 2008 · Leave a Comment

What’s all this about ACORN, Ohio database mismatches and the like?  It’s simply the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican party trying to intimidate new voters into either not voting, or making sure that their votes don’t count when they’re cast.

The campaign follows in a long line of disenfranchisement efforts that stretch back to Jim Crow laws, and includes the well-documented shenanigans that made the 2000 and 2004 US elections on par with third world rigged elections, and about which America should be ashamed.

The ultimate debacle of course happened in Florida – led by the embarrassing Katherine Harris (see my post on the parallels between Palin and Harris here).  There the Republican Secretary of State Harris, working in conjunction with George W. Bush lawyers and George’s brother Jeb, the Republican Governor of Florida, decided the outcome of the Presidential election by refusing to count votes made in support of the Democrat Al Gore, in addition to other procedural decisions that effectively disenfranchised the votes of those who did not support Bush.

McCain-Palin know that there has been a huge surge of new voter registrations, mostly by young and minority voters.  This surge helped Obama defeat the political machine of Hillary Clinton in the primaries.  These new voters remain energized and likely to vote in the upcoming election.  The problem is that Obama-Biden leads McCain-Palin by enormous margins.  So what’s a campaign to do?

The answer is simple:

  1. Keep voter turnout low.
  2. Don’t count votes for the opponent.

The Republicans have a long tradition of trying to scare voters they think will vote against them.  They’ve used “push polling” to give out bad advice to likely Democratic voters:  the wrong voting location, the wrong election day.  (They’ve also used “push polling” to spread lies like phantom illegitimate mixed race babies, like Bush did against McCain in the primaries, but I digress).  They’ve spread false information about the voting process or voting requirements intended to scare voters away from participation.  Yes, they’ve even starved areas of necessary resources in order to ensure long lines and more inconvenience in order to discourage voting.  Shameful, really.

Ohio matters:  perhaps you’ve read recently about the Supreme Court ruling against the Republicans.  The Supreme Court just ruled on Friday, October 17th, 2008, overturning a decision of a Federal Appeals Court.  The Republicans were trying to compel the Secretary of State of Ohio (a Democrat) to turn over to the Republicans a list of new voters for whom there were some database mismatches against other governmental lists, like the DMV record.  The Republicans were going to use this list to give to partisan poll workers who would then challenge voters individually when they came in to vote.  They would seek to either not allow the people to vote, or to have their ballots made “provisional” – meaning they’d be kept separate, not counted with the general votes, and only counted after long protracted legal wrangling if that might help the Republicans.  Think about it – the Republicans have a strategy of keeping voter turnout low and trying to prevent having people’s votes from counting.  Even if the information is faulty, or the mismatches something as simple as a change of address, or a misspelled name as the result of an error by a government worker (Sara instead of Sarah?  Palin instead of Palen?).  Most experts estimate that in excess of 80% of the mismatches are just these kinds of simple errors.  For a detailed report on the Ohio decision, read this New York Times article:  Justices Block Effort to Challenge Ohio Voters.

Who amongst you has never had a simple government data entry error with their name or address?

In addition to Ohio, McCain-Palin have made ACORN central rallying cry for their campaign recently (we can only hope this central message lasts as long as the previous 20).  ACORN is an organization that seeks to bring low income people into the political process, and to advocate for low income housing and the preservation of jobs for the low and unskilled.  As part of an effort to increase the appallingly low voter registration rates in this group, they paid canvassers to go out into these low income neighborhoods and get people to register.  Some of these 1,600 paid canvassers apparently made up names on their list.  But ACORN had a solution for this:  they themselves would segregate the names into three categories:  those that seemed to be OK, those that were probably not OK, and those that might not be OK – and they identified the names with these categories when they submitted them.  In fact, it would be illegal for the organization to “throw out” names they thought were bad.  Imagine, should an organization be able to decide what they submit and what they don’t when someone thinks they’ve signed up to vote?  I think not.  Should they be able to ask how the person will vote and then only register Democrats, or only register Republicans?  Of course not.  But the Republicans know that the efforts of ACORN are probably bringing more Democrats than Republicans to registration, so they are attempting to discredit the entire effort.  By the way, does “ACORN” sound scary to you?  If it does, it’s just an indication of how effective the right-wing scare machine is.  It stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).  Liberal?  Yes.  A threat to the very existence of democracy?  Hardly.  And we saw at the Republican convention how icky and scary this batch of Republicans like Giuliani and Palin think “community organizing” is.  More cynical politics and more class warfare, courtesy of McCain-Palin.  It would be laughable if it didn’t have such serious consequences.

The Republicans want to win at all costs.

It galls me that Republicans would seek less participation in the electoral process.  But that’s exactly what’s happening.

That’s disenfranchisement.  And that’s just palin wrong.

Categories: Bush · McCain · Palin · Palintology · Politics
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Sarah's Future

October 18, 2008 · Leave a Comment

Sarah Palin may be the one person out of the four at the top of the ticket with the most at stake.  Win or lose McCain will be a senior leader in the Republican party.  Win or lose both Obama and Biden have increased their national stature and will figure in Democratic politics for a long time to come.  Sarah Palin, on the other hand, will either be vaulted into the heights of national leadership, or bundled off back to Alaska, largely blamed for the Republican loss, and shunned by the Republican party.

We need look no further than Katherine Harris of Florida for how the Republican party will treat Palin in the future when her usefulness is done.  She will go from being the toast of the party to being an embarrassing relative pushed to the background, and erased from memory.

Katherine Harris, of course, is the former Republican Secretary of State of Florida whose actions had an enormous impact on the outcome of the 2000 election.  Harris entered politics with her election to the Florida Senate in 1994.  As early as 1996 she was caught up in a scandal when a company called Riscorp made $400,000 in illegal political pay-to-play donations, including over $20,000 to Harris.  The CEO of Riscorp did prison time after confessing guilt; Harris was never charged.  In 1998 she won the race for Secretary of State of Florida, which would give her a pivotal role in the 2000 Presidential election.

Harris leveraged her new found recognition to a seat in the US Congress in 2002.  She then ran for the US Senate in 2006.  Unfortunately for Harris she had more political funding trouble, as she was involved in the MZM defense contractor scandal that had led to the conviction and resignation of California Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham.  The Republican establishment which had come to power because of Harris now turned against her.  Jeb Bush publicly speculated that she couldn’t win and encouraged others to run against her.  Karl Rove soon followed suit.  The entire Republican establishment rushed to find a replacement candidate, and even recruited conservative commentator Joe Scarborough to step in.  The flow of Republican money soon dried up, and when her father left his sizable estate entirely to her mother, she was left without the money needed to compete.

In another eerie parallel to Sarah Palin, Harris was another evangelical Christian who apparently believed in Christian Reconstruction – the belief that Christians have a duty to God to make America a theocracy.  That’s right, they have the same approach to government as fundamentalist Muslims – just a different theology.

Here’s what Harris said to the Florida Baptist Witness on August 24, 2006.

“We have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected then we’re going to have a nation of secular laws. That’s not what our founding fathers intended and that’s certainly isn’t what God intended. … we need to take back this country. … And if we don’t get involved as Christians then how could we possibly take this back? …If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don’t know better, we are leading them astray and it’s wrong.”

If the positions seem eerily familiar, it’s because Palin shares them lock, stock, barrel and “Jesus loves the NRA” bumper sticker.

In the Florida Senate race in 2006, the Republicans got their replacement candidate, Vern Buchanan, who eked out a victory by only a few hundred votes.

Sarah, I feel for you.  Right now you’re the toast of the Jesus and Guns circuit.  You’re being told that you not only have to try to help McCain overcome difficult odds to win the election, but you also have to think about your own future should the ticket lose.  You’re even thinking that you could become President one day.  I’d suggest you give Katherine a call, and see how solid and lasting that Republican embrace is.  If there’s one thing that Republicans hate more than a Democrat, it’s a loser.

Categories: Bush · McCain · Palin · Palintology
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