Punchinello’s Chronicles

October 27, 2008

Palin not Happy with McCain Campaign Staff? Good!

There’s an interesting story today about the disconnect between Sarah Palin and the overall McCain campaign. From Christian Science Monitor’s, “The Vote Blog:”

Supporters of Palin say she’s had it with the campaign staff.

“She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the [campaign] plane,” a Palin insider told Politico. He says she would like to further ignore staff advice and do things her own way.

But CNN reports campaign aides say she’s a selfish renegade.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family, or anyone else.” — Jimmy Orr | 10.26.08

What’s interesting is that it demonstrates a difficult problem in language. We have an observation of something, then the interpretation and explanation. Depending on the person making the interpretation, we can have two entirely different and opposite explanations.

Gov. Palin is apparently fed up with something about the campaign. That’s fine; so are most conservatives. The McCain campaign has been amazingly lacking in any strong positions, articulate principles, basic philosophy, and any kind of real differentiation from wish-washy middle-of-the-road conciliation.

As a conservative, I listen to Ms. Palin’s statements and understand what I consider to be exactly what she’s saying. I don’t need someone else’s interpretations, I’ll make my own. And they’re interpretations, based on my life, beliefs, convinctions, and overall mind. Yet what I hear her saying is entirely different from what I’m being told she’s saying.

What’s missing, of course, is a disclaimer by anyone drawing conclusions; that those conclusions are interpretations. Long ago, journalistic reporting simply reported what someone said or did. There weren’t any attempts to include inferences or write about conclusions “we” could all draw.

Today, there’s a wonderful workaround. Instead of entering into the story, the journalist shops around to find someone who agrees with their position, then quotes that person. If questionned or criticized, the journalist merely shrugs and says, “Hey, I’m just quoting a witness.” The implication being, “Hey, I didn’t say it, I’m not in the story, it’s not me, I didn’t do anything.”

Fortunately, we have blogs, e-zines, and Internet news sources. Mr. Orr is a counterbalance to the heavily weighted mainstream journalism. Most people know that a blog is made up of editorializing, opinions, and includes subjective interpretations. On the other hand, many foolish people believe that mainstream media outlets are reporting “simple” facts.

Sarah Palin is a conservative. She has bedrock principles, chooses to hold to those principles, and places her convictions higher than the consensus of the moment. If she were a politician, all this polling data telling us that she’s an extremist, Christian fundamentalist, nutcase, whack-job, and lunatic wouldn’t exist. She would have changed her positions and presentation long ago, to better resonate with and match the general consensus.

She doesn’t define her principles according to polls.

There’s a terrific quote-line attributed to someone anonymous. It’s showing up here and there, and nobody knows where it began. “To those who cannot hear the music, the dancers must appear to be mad.”

I think we can apply the same principle here. To those who have no objective principles, anyone who sticks to an unpopular viewpoint or who contradicts the general “team” and consensus must be egomaniacal. In the same vein, anyone who has a memory and brings up past references to current issues must be “holding a grudge,” a mudslinger, and guilty of negative campaigning. Hogwash! It’s called Reasoning.

The only mystery here is how someone with true, articulate, and structured conservative principles agreed to run on the McCain ticket. There’s no mystery how the McCain “people” chose Sarah Palin; they wanted a strong female political representative to counter the Hillary Clinton effect.

Presumably, nobody in Washington, and by extension, nobody in politics has any sort of principled system of convinctions. Obviously that’s not true, there are all sorts of conservative Democrats and Republicans who run for office. They rarely make it into office, and even more rarely last long in Washington. But it’s no surprise that the typical political strategists would quite soon start to butt heads with someone like Ms. Palin.

Is she a “diva?” By that, does the quoted McCain adivser mean she’s not a team player? So what? Or does the adviser mean she’s certain of her principles to the point that she won’t act in contradiction with those principles? Nobody knows. It’s a mystery.



  1. Is Mrs Palin a Diva? I should say not. Is she an extremist? Depends on what is considered appropriate. But I’ll throw in my two cents worth.

    For starters, Mrs Palin’s political career was launched in part by the AIP- the Alaskan Independence Party, an organization that seeks to secede Alaska from the US.

    Mrs. Palin STRONGLY believes that Christianity is integral to government. That goes opposite of what the first amendment says, which is that we are a country that separate religion from politics. She honestly believes that Iraq was ” God’s Task”.

    Mrs Palin abused her powers as governor of Alaska on several occasions ranging from the Troopergate incident ( which she flatly denies despite the stated evidence) as well as spending over $20,000 in order to fly her children on a trip using state money.

    Mrs Palin on numerous occasions has been asked simple questions regarding what role the Vice President fulfills. She has been grossly incorrect on more than one occasion, not to mention to show an almost blissful ignorance of national and international affairs.

    Mrs Plain repeatedly tried to have books banned from the Wasilla public library.Book banning is a SERIOUS offense. You want fascism? That’s how it starts.

    Mrs Palin doesn’t believe in evolution.She also believes that evolution should not be taught in public schools, that along with sex education, which she also believes shouldn’t be taught. ( worked well for her and her 17 year old daughter didn’t it?)

    Lastly, Mrs Palin believes that Same-Sex marriage should be illegal nation-wide.Perhaps to some, same-sex marriage is evil. But it wasn’t too long ago that people thought that black people shouldn’t be able to drink at white water fountains. We are a country of free people, who should not be hampered by those who use a single religion as their sole meter of righteousness. These people- just like those blacks in the not so distant past, have rights. I have numerous friends who happen to be gay, and to me, Mrs Palin’s accusations against such people is unforgivable.

    Lastly, how stupid is Mrs Palin to make the comment that she’s “not happy” with John Mccain? She’s the reason why they will lose- because many- including my conservative, Republican Dad think she’s a total moron. I agree. Mccain screwed up big time by deciding to continue the erosion of the Republican party, by continuing to make it the party taken over by extremist right wing Christians.

    If the Republicans lose, which I think they stand a good chance of doing, I hope they will decide to oust all those who corrupted their party and return it to the honest, hard-working, noble part it was years ago. You see, I am not anti-conservative. But I am against people who take politics to mean a regression.

    Sorry for the nastiness. But Mrs Palin is an outright liar and does not deserve anything other than a quite plane ride back to Alaska.

    Comment by bob — October 27, 2008 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  2. All these accusations apply just as well to Mr. Obama, in concept if not in particulars. Ms. Palin is as much an extremist as Mr. Obama. The one issue I’d expand is whether Palin “strongly believes that Christianity is integral to government.”

    I hold that economic theory is strongly integral to government. Yet most economic theories are just that, theories. Most of them have failed over history, demonstrating that we have no science of economics. However; nobody can develop any action at all without first having a functioning mind, reason, analysis, imagination, values, and a philosophy or belief system.

    Ms. Palin has said that her Christian theology will inform her decisions in government. Mr. Obama has indicated that his socialist morality will inform his decisions. Both systems of thought must be integral to the decision-making process each of them undertakes.

    But nowhere in there does that mean Ms. Palin intends to make Christianity the law of the land, enforce Christian worship centers, and introduce concentration camps for all non-Christian believers. Nor does Ms. Palin intend to overthrow the US Constitution. (She’ll leave that to the Supreme Court.)

    “Integral” applies to the fact that our thoughts generate our actions. When those thoughts and actions are codified into laws (i.e., with penalties and punishments), that’s another interpretation of the word.

    The tragedy is the number of people who believe they know (contradiction in terms) what Ms. Palin believes and knows. It’s one long daisy-chain of false logic, failed assumptions, and unexamined premises. And the same can be applied to what Mr. Obama believes and knows.

    Comment by Punchinello — October 27, 2008 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  3. There is indeed proof that if elected, Mrs Palin would in fact integrate Christianity with government affairs. Why? Because she has done so in Alaska. She supported Mat-Su Borough School Board candidates whom supported creationism being taught in the classroom.Ironic since her Father is a science teacher. When she rain for Mayor of Wasilla, a large part of her campaign was enlisting fundamental Christian groups.

    There are further examples of Mrs Palin using Christianity as a tool to be used in Government. But the school example is enough to send off alarm bells in anyone’s head who studies history and how countries who use theocratic principles ultimately fall into chaos, particularly if there are other religions within that country- such as ours. Don’t get me wrong. I am myself a Christian. But we cannot be ignorant and pretend that the other religions in this country don’t exist, nor can Christianity be abused and shaped as a tool to use as a weapon as it has been by the later day Republican party.

    Sure- Obama isn’t perfect. But comparing him to Palin are two different planes and not comparing apples to apples. Mrs Palin is simply a completely inappropriate pick for VP, who would take this country many steps backwards. I cannot agree with you on this one in any shape or fashion. The Woman is scary and I will only be too relieved once this election- with the hopeful election of Obama- is over.

    Comment by bob — October 28, 2008 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  4. Proof? Suppose Ms. Palin supported a party magician as a School Board candidate; does that mean she intends to run the government by magic? The key here is whether or not Ms. Palin or any other politician chooses people with strong core beliefs, or none. Modern Democrats are famous for having no beliefs of their own and no principles, basing their decision-making process on polling data.

    To those living always in uncertainty, anyone who evidences any sort of real certainty is frightening. One solution is to eliminate and outlaw all certainty. Another solution is self-analysis. In my experience, people will do almost anything to avoid introspection and self-analysis.

    Comment by Punchinello — October 28, 2008 @ 11:53 am | Reply

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