Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Dumbest Thing Ever Said By Major Party Candidate?

I really, really want to vote for John McCain for President. I think he has the experience needed to step right in as Commander-in-Chief, and as a moderate who doesn't want to see one-party control of government, I really, really don't want a Democratic President with a filibuster-proof Senate (which is possible, though not probable). While I recognize intellectually that my vote doesn't really matter -- Idaho's electoral votes are going to John McCain no matter how I vote -- I still take my voting seriously. And right now I'm seriously having doubts about Sen. McCain's judgment in selecting a running mate after hearing about Gov. Palin's latest completely ridiculous statement:
Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.
"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."
This is the sort of idiocy you normally only hear from progressives. The First Amendment, which Gov. Palin clearly doesn't understand, says this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Nowhere does it say that the Constitution protects people from having their political views criticized, or having their "dissent stifled". If you say something stupid, expect to be called on it. It does, however, say that Congress can't abridge freedom of the press. While extremists on both sides of the political circle like to claim that the media is biased against them, the fact remains that each side has enough media sympathetic to their cause to get their ideas out to the American public. If one wants to avoid "attacks" by the mainstream media, one could choose to use actual facts in their statements; they'll still be attacked (that pesky First Amendment in action again!) but they won't sound like a blithering idiot when they're defending themselves.

As I've mentioned before, progressives have made lots of dumb attacks on Gov. Palin that turned me off from supporting their candidate, but this is something ridiculous that's said by the candidate herself. While I still don't plan on casting my vote for President based on who the Vice Presidential candidate is, I'm seriously looking to see if Sen. McCain provides an explanation for this inexplicable statement from his running mate. [Incongruity intentionally included] The John McCain I've supported since 2000 would address the issue head-on. I'll look forward to seeing what the McCain of 2008 will say.

This being said, I recognize that an Obama Administration would have a lot more people that have similar views of the First Amendment that Gov. Palin seems to have expressed, so that's a strike against them. It's just that none of them would be quite so high in the chain of command.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been sorely disappointed myself in McCain in the last couple of years. Back in 2004 and prior, I voted for him in the primary or would have voted for him if he was running. Unfortunately, at this point the negativity shown by the campaign is very disappointing and I don't like how my party has seemingly cowtowed to the point of just short of a theocracy. McCain sealed the loss of my vote with his VP choice.

Bubblehead, you're right on the Free Speech issue. But then her comments echo much of what you see on the "interwebs" where, say a blog owner, would delete a comment not appreciated. And there is much rancor over "free speech". The rule doesn't apply.


11/01/2008 10:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t know about ‘dumb”, but I think it was really two-faced when Ross Perot said during the debates in his first run for President.

Bush has criticized Clinton for his associations during the Viet Nam war and avoiding the draft and even smoking marijuana. When Perot was asked about it during his turn in the debate, he said something to the effect that he would not hold it against a man for foolish decisions made when he was young.

During his second run Perot , he is hollering that we have a ‘draft dodger’ in the white house! He lost all my respect at that momemt.

11/01/2008 10:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Congress can't abridge freedom of the press"

Nor freedom, apparently, of our liberal-progressive educational establishment to propagandize children. The distinction between freedom of speech and freedom of publicly financed institutions and organizations like ACORN to politicize is being lost.

There was a time when politics was
permissible only when the arguments of all significant viewpoints were presented with equal rigorousness.

Unless we revert, we must not be surprised to see our grandchildren wearing state uniforms and our children shopping where choices are poor and quantities limited.
That is the future of this lapse into socialism.

11/01/2008 11:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that she made a true and good comment. She is being attached as well as lots of others for voicing their opinion. Granted she is not being prohibited from making these statements, but with enough attacks against her it is almost the same as if she is being prohibited from speaking. Just my opinion.

A shipmate from the Topeka who left just as you got there.


11/01/2008 12:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of all the stupid scary stuff, that's been said by Obama and his supporters, this gets you. I'm somnewhat incredulous, but this figures.

If you do vote for Obama, it illustrates a lesson, don't lose to the Left-Center/Independents because they'll give you a candidate and then won't support him themselves.

Sorry if McCain doesn't get back to you, this particular quote doesn't even have that much traction right now, and he's kind of busy.

11/01/2008 6:50 PM

Blogger Jay said...

In the world of dumb things, I think this one is way, way, way down the list. Methinks you doth protest too much. Maybe, Bubblehead, you're subconsciously looking for a reason to not vote for McCain.

If this does it for you, well, so be it. You won't be alone.

I think the statement is fairly silly and didn't even need to be said, but, I am sick of people piling on Palin. Most doing the attacking haven't looked at her actual record, their sources are either hearsay or the MSM. I admit wholeheartedly that her diction and speaking style, and her familiarity with national issues has me scratching my head sometimes, but, well, I don't want to make this a post on Palin. She's new to the national scene, but she does have more executive (i.e relevant) experience than the other 3 candidates combined. And, Camille Paglia thinks she's great, and Camille's a pretty smart broad. The MSM and the Left (and some potential opponents on the Right) have a vested interest in Qualye-ing her, to prevent her rise in national politics, so, I tend to take all the criticism from the usual suspects with a grain of salt.

I also object to calling the Dems in this campaign "progressives." Fascist is more like it (and I mean that in the political context, not in the Nazi context).

11/01/2008 8:24 PM

Blogger Harry Buckles said...

Would those of you who get most of your information from the National Review please read enough of something else to realize that an Obama administration will not be fascist or socialist. Obama may support a more progressive income tax than you do. That is not socialism. Review Ronald Reagan's comments about our dangerous path towards socialism during Operation Coffee Cup. We haven't got any closer by adopting Medicare and Medicaid, but we have helped some people not die from curable disease in the richest country on earth.

Palin couldn't name a single piece of reading material that she uses to stay informed about the world. Without even considering her politics, qualifications, or lack of intelligence, I want as vice president someone who is at least mildly curious about the world beyond Wasilla.

11/02/2008 5:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks you've missed the boat here - pun intended. Palin was merely suggesting that, if candidates can be cowed into not bringing up dirty laundry for fear of how they will be wrongly portrayed by a partisan, sycophant MSM, and that MSM NOT bring up relevant dirty laundry, then the value of free speech is diminished.

11/02/2008 7:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Buckles, I find it laughable that you insinuate that Sarah Palin isn't qualified to be VP, but you'll willingly accept even lesser qualifications for an Obama POTUS. Sheeesh!

11/02/2008 7:45 AM

Blogger Chap said...

Yeah, I gotta say I'm not with you on this one. She's criticizing a narrative definition of "negative attack" in a context of nasty attacks on people who dissent, not trying to deny the Constitution.

Also, the First Amendment may cover sending more reporters to Wasilla to dig up dirt than was used on the entire D background dig, but it doesn't cover the illegal government computer accesses used to advertise possible dirt on some guy who was in his yard when another candidate walked by and started talking, or the selective enforcement in the DOJ of potential election fraud violations in one direction vice the other, or siccing the FCC on military commentators in one political direction (off topic, added for context). When the power of the state is used to chill dissent, I'd call that an attack inconsistent with the Constitution.

But that's just me, I guess.

11/02/2008 10:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


what the heck are you smoking??? Dems Fascists??? You better check out that Websters definition again. Bush-Cheney government looks a lot closer to that definition than any Dem administration I can remember. How about that unitary government position of cheney's? Belligerent nationalism of the Neocon kind--now discredited by thinking americans. An unnecessary war in Iraq. and on and on......

Who really cares what any of these pols running for office are saying. I say if their lips are moving they're lying anyway.

I think all you guys made up your minds months ago who you were voting for. Your posts for the most part illustrate your political and economic philosophy as mine do as well.

Time to move on I say. Sarah needs to go back to Alaska and keep the "Putin watch" out her back door in Wasilla by golly, wink-wink.

My two cents.....


11/02/2008 1:04 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I thought alot about this last night (I was working, and had the extra hour with the switch to Standard Time), and decided to stick with the guy I've been supporting since 2000 - John McCain. I'm convinced that the McCain we're seeing in this campaign isn't who he really is, and would revert to being himself were he to win. I think that Sen. McCain would do better at taking care of the two things that are most important to me: prosecuting the War and reducing the federal deficit. That being said, I'm not afraid of a potential Obama Presidency; our country is strong enough to survive even if he does get all pacifist (which I don't think he will). I think John McCain is the best man for the job, but I think Sen. Obama is also up to the task.

11/02/2008 5:28 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

There are some great posts on Gates of Vienna and Diana West's blog about politicians in Europe being placed in jail for "racism" because someone they don't know who happens to be in their party wrote something that made someone else upset. Laws that place these men in jail don't exist in the U.S. and given the First Amendment are not likely to soon, yet the drift toward a media-enforced limit on political speech is in full effect and Palin I think was speaking to that concern.
What Palin was speaking to is a (I believe) growing reduction in what is media-acceptable discourse in public discussions. A reduction in freedom will not start with a shocking law. It will start with a media campaign to make "good people" feel bad when they bring up "negative" things. Too often people don't speak the truth because they don't want the real or perceived consequences of the truth. This happens on both sides (was the lipstick on the pig a veiled sexist threat? etc).
Palin is dead on when she says that giving power to labels (you're doing negative attacks, good people don't do negative attacks, therefore you are not a good person) puts people who don't want to be labeled at a disadvantage in politics and in free thought. I'd use the analogy that a woman walking in DC who doesn't look like she commits felonies, i.e., carrying a concealed handgun, is at a disadvantage against a would-be attacker just as a person who doesn't want to be labeled a racist (a hurtful name if not a career ender is some places) is at a disadvantage disagreeing with a person of a different race than them.
If I couldn't look to Europe to see people further down this road to government enforced "correct speech" I wouldn't believe it. But, the problem is real. There are so many things that aren't discussed this election because "good people" worry what name they might be called in the process. I think we're all at a disadvantage because of it.
For one more reference (sorry I don't know how to add links to my comment) you can check out news coverage of the University of Wisconsin speech code from a few years ago where the University asked students to turn in people who were saying bad things, per the campus speech code. Ugh! Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be a Badger.

11/02/2008 11:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the fellow who obliquely called the Bush administration fascist - please. If that were true Pelosi and Reid would have been hospitalized at St. Ann's for the duration - along with Sheehan and most of hollywood.

If you want an example of a true fascist administration in America look at Woodrow Wilson.

11/03/2008 6:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"None of the Above (NOTA) or against all is a ballot choice in some jurisdictions or organizations, placed so as to allow the voter to indicate his disapproval with all of the candidates in any voting system. It is based on the principle that all legitimate consent requires the ability to withhold consent, allowing voters to withhold their consent in an election to office, just as they can by voting "no" on ballot questions."

And, yes...I did literally vote "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on my Texas ballot.

11/03/2008 6:52 AM

Blogger chief torpedoman said...

To ex ssn eng
And, yes...I did literally vote "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on my Texas ballot.

Just curious, if NOTA was the majority of the votes cast in a state (let's say Texas), then who would get the Texas Eletroal College votes? It they had to go to an actual person candidate, then conceiveably, someone who got very few of the votes cast could win that state. Does that make your NOTA vote invalid?

Just curious.

11/03/2008 1:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're going to throw down the "progresive" gauntlet at least be honest enough to call them what we know them to be - communists, marxists, Obamabots.

11/03/2008 3:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(apologies for the typo "progressive"; damned screen)

11/03/2008 3:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chief Torpedoman:

Let me explain a bit more: Texas does not have a NOTA voting statute. No state does, to the best of my knowledge.

My NOTA vote was a protest vote, one in which I gladly voted my conscience, as I truly do not believe that either of the major candidates are fit to serve as POTUS (my view: this is a clear-cut case of too old & too dumb versus too young & too inexperienced/naïve).

On the other hand, my vote will count as a perfectly valid ballot, as I did vote for every other position on the ticket.

Check out the Wikipedia NOTA link in my original post to see how this works in political contests that make actual use of NOTA votes, but basically it boils down to -- were the majority of electoral college votes to go this way -- requiring the political parties to start from scratch, re-run their contests, and come up with a candidate that the majority of people can actually believe in and are willing to grant an appointment to the highest office in the land.

As the current contest started, this was all about Iraq in many people's minds -- certainly Obama's and to a large degree McCain's. Today, "it" is all about the economy. Were NOTA actually an option in the U.S., I sincerely believe that neither McCain nor Obama would win. As it stands, we're about to get stuck with one of them.

God bless the U.S.A.

11/03/2008 5:10 PM

Blogger chief torpedoman said...

ex ssn eng:

That is very interesting. I am assuming that you did that as a write in.

I realize this is getting off track here, but thinking about my question more, I think with None of the above getting most of the vote, then the House would decide the election or failing that, then I suppose the Speaker of the House would get the job. Wouldn’t that be a scramble there! I bet Pelosi would have some competition for the speaker job.

I personally don’t think any one man can change things on his own in this country even if he is the President. He (or she) would need the cooperation of the Congress and it seems the only thing they can all agree on is to give themselves pay raises or more time off.

My two cents.

11/03/2008 5:41 PM

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