Palin / Nixon

Anyone familiar with the history of Richard Nixon will know that Washington press corps types simply never thought the man had a chance in hell of being president. And the resentment of a lifetime of treatment like that gave Nixon the drive to overcome these elites. And his intelligence helped him figure out how to make that work politically.

So, I sure hope that anyone trying to beat Palin at anything won’t do the scoffing she’s-so-uncool thing. That’s how people like her connect with voters.

The way to beat Sarah is to get her to show herself as the mean girl from junior high that she really is.


The press’s attempts to “analyze” a “potential” Sarah Palin candidacy should be Exhibit A in why our media hurts America. (I love how one of the complaints is that the press is bored with her.)

Sarah Palin ended her celebrity fad stage with her retarded comments after the Giffords shooting. But, if anyone thinks that she gives a shit, you haven’t been paying attention. She told donors before the 2008 election to “hold [their] powder ” for 2012. In other words, just because people are more or less over her doesn’t mean she won’t run for president. All of the babe-in-the-woods surprise over the “rumors” now is just sad.


Endorsing Sarah Palin for The GOP Nomination in 2012

You could very well greet the title of this post with laughter. A left-leaning blog endorsing Sarah Palin! On its face that’s funny due to its irony. It’s also apparently a tongue-in-cheek statement of self interest in that we want the GOP to lose so badly we want their worst candidate. All of these were intended, but there is a serious point here too.

FIrst, I don’t believe that Sarah Palin is the GOP’s worst candidate from the point of view of electability. She is marginally less electable than Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, but, if we’re being honest, would probably score more votes than Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Michelle Bachmann. That’s how bad this field is. Palin not only has a decent chance of winning the GOP primary, but she would probably get more votes than many of the other candidates in the field. At the end of the day, she might actually be their best candidate. She has name recognition and celebrity. Better yet, she has believers.

Second, and this is the real point: she’s the only honest candidate. Not that she is honest, but that she is the only candidate that accurately and truly reflects the values of today’s Republican party.

Herman Cain is black. The GOP has spent the last three years dogwhistling against blacks. Newt Gingrich appears to be willing to say something contradictory to the dissonant religious hybrid of Ayn Rand and Evangelical Christianity. Ron Paul’s crew—he has believers too—obviously spooks the industrialist wing of the party, not to mention the military-industrial wing of the party. Michelle Bachmann is obviously just a clone of Sarah, plus Bachmann is a lawyer. That’s two college degrees too many to really represent the GOP.

Palin, again, is neither honest nor authentic. But she is an honest representation of the ever-changing tribal Republican views. Republican views are neither libertarian nor industrialist, neither Christian nor Constitutionalist. They are whatever ad hoc mishmash of rhetoric is needed to accomplish their goals, which are not ideological at all. When Sarah speaks, she isn’t advancing some academic agenda; she is saying “fuck you” to her enemies. She is always punching hippies.

Palin is also an authentic representation of what the party has become. Her white trash family life—teenage pregnancy, wolf killing, talking-in-tongue quasi-cultish Evangelical, NASCAResque existence—with all of its People magazine appeal is a more accurate reflection of her base than any of the others as well. (Newt was a college history professor ffs.)

If you had to hang a label on these folks, I like anti-technocrats. Any complex solution to a problem is a priori incorrect. Values are a priori correct, even if they fuck up the world in practice. (It isn’t that Obama’s solutions are too liberal, or that he is copping their more conservative solutions like individual mandate and so on—it’s that he wants to solve things at all.)

If GOP voters have any honor, they must nominate Sarah Palin for President in 2012 and let the day of reckoning come and let the American people have a true referendum on the two parties: an ideologically weak technocratic party of at least partial solutions, or the anti-technocratic party of the post-industrial wasteland.

Hopefully though, America will be able to say in November 2012 what Sarah Palin said when Obama won the nomination over Hillary Clinton: “So, Sambo beat the bitch.”

Tort Reform

One of the least evil ideas Republicans have is probably tort reform. As this Economist article points out, medmal lawsuits are hardly the bogeyman they’re made out to be in any quantifiable terms, so really they just do this to say “fuck you,” not to solve any real problem. Still, it could be worse. If we have a single payer system one day for health care, med mal will have to work differently.

The trouble is how crude “tort reform” works as currently envisioned. Just like in education, where we will always leave many children behind as long as the underlying questions of poverty are not addressed, until the underlying dynamics of what drives our country’s tort system are addressed, it will just screw people.

Tort reform—at least with respect to med mal—could work. I know this because other countries do not have our tort system and they get better medical outcomes. The trouble is, those countries use before the fact regulation to keep things in check. We rely on after the fact adjustment of problems—what I think of as “minefield justice.” You can get away with an awful lot, but if you get caught up in a lawsuit, you step on a mine and you blow up, even if what you did isn’t this bad.

This is exactly how this played out in labor law, where the decline of unions as a forum and vehicle for addressing employee grievances has been replaced with the courts to a large degree. The result is messy, expensive, and almost random as to whom it affects.

Other countries do a much better job at reducing this kind of “transaction cost” by trying to get things to run more smoothly in the first place, not leaving people without any hope outside of the courts, and, in some cases, by publicly funding plaintiffs’ cases when they arise and are deemed worthy (by something like a “death panel”).

I seriously doubt this country would ever tolerate the regulatory interference necessary to make this work well, the social safety nets necessary to keep people out of courts for money when they have no other redress, and .. finally…

I think if law school were free or cheap, lawyers wouldn’t have to spend most of their lives chasing fees. (Which is a reason why tort reform is not really all that loved by the corporate firms—defending cases is how they get paid too.)

Of course, all of this involves a desire to solve problems, when really the Republicans just want to leave people high and dry, so they won’t do anything to compliment the caps they put in place, like, say, by providing some kind of insurance for people hurt in medical incidents, even when no one is at fault—and not just for medical care. A kind of public option AFLAC maybe.

Anyway, we don’t care about transaction costs in this country. The only people who make money are making them by taxing transactions in the real economy anyway—the government, the investment banks, lawyers, tax professionals, etc.

Also it might help if medical schools were free. We don’t have enough doctors and it might be nice if there were some that could afford to work in free clinics.

All of this would reduce the cost of health care. Something else the GOP really doesn’t give a shit about in deed even if they do in word.

GOP 2012

I still think Palin is in. I think she got talked into laying low after her gaffe during the Giffords thing. But let’s be real, here. She’s so out of style that she’s almost in style again. With Trump, Newt, Huck, Daniels, and Romney all more or less disqualifying themselves either with saying they’re out or saying things that will get them voted out, the only choice left for GOP 2012 is Goldwater or Dole. In other words, do they nominate the next guy in line, establishment suit man, or the ideological rabid psycho. In other words, Romney or Palin.