From “Death Panels” to “Don’t Retreat… Reload!”: The rise and fall of Sarah Palin?

“How can anyone — let alone a prominent Republican figure — think that defending Dr. Laura in the wake of her ignorant comments is a good idea? And why is Palin even defending Dr. Laura? The radio host was not fired, she made the decision to step down, so Palin’s bizarre need to make this a Constitutional matter (‘watch out Constitutional obstructionists’) is not only unnecessary, but demonstrates how little Palin grasps about what is actually going on.”

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Will the failings of “The Great Society” also be the undoing of “A More Perfect Nation”?

“Obama finds himself in a similar position to that of Lyndon Johnson, slipping in public esteem and at the helm of two unpopular wars, one that in recent days has regained the moniker ‘Obama’s Vietnam.’ If these parallels continue, the 2012 presidential election may be a far tougher campaign than expected, despite Obama’s legislative accomplishments.”

It appears the reports of the G.O.P.’s death were somewhat exaggerated

“That’s my challenge to a G.O.P. looking to get off life support — don’t look to the far-right for inspiration, but towards the middle. There are so many fronts where a Republican could powerfully challenge a Democrat today, but there are few Republicans who seem willing to do so without placating the Tea Party, without Sarah Palin firing up the crowd before a speech, without succumbing to empty phrases like “The American people want [insert key campaign rallying call here]” (a suggestion I hope plenty of Democrats take to heart as well) or labeling political opponents “anti-American.” What we need are informed, intellectual discussions, and I hope the Republican party is up to the challenge.”

There’s No Going Back Now: Coming to Terms with the Digital Age

“While I still retain some fears over the changes that are happening, I see no harm in harboring some hopes, even lofty ones. This is the world we live in — spending my time finding reasons it is riddled with terrible and dangerous faults due to the meddlesome internet is now far less appealing than attempting to play some small part in how things develop.”

The Post-American Century

While I did not fully appreciate the statement at the time, I believe Hunter S. Thompson may well have been right when claiming that the 21st century is “the post-American century” in Kingdom of Fear. As James Carroll points out in his article “The Pentagon Prayer Fight,” a source I cited in my previous post, many … Continue reading

Turning water into wine, wars into crusades

“The separation of Church and State is in our Bill of Rights and laid our even more clearly in the Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11: “…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” I am not trying to attack faith, but ask that war be treated as it truly is and not seen through the lens of a distorted religious morality. The decision to go to war and our actions during war should be based on the terrible weight of lost lives — of civilians and American, foreign, and enemy soldiers — not a sense of righteousness derived from faith, particularly a faith that not even all Americans share.”

On Patriotism and Populism

“I wish this country, after pouring millions upon millions of dollars into Wars on Terror and Drugs, would start funding a War on Ignorance. We grow up in this country with our morals riding on the backs of figures like David, who cleverly and bravely took down Goliath despite the seemingly unfair advantage the latter had with regards to strength and size. It’s the archetypal “little guy” story, one that has been oft cited in many newspaper articles and repeated and recycled in countless works of fiction. Yet America is stumbling ever so close to being little better than Goliath — all size and strength, no wits. Is that really the story we want to tell, to be a part of?”

Has the sweet smell of Freedom been marred somewhat by the odor of fear and suspicion?

“t’s no easy task to win on two fronts, without and within. How much ground can you gain when you have to continuously turn around and make sure your army hasn’t devolved into a pack of savage racists and bigots or to ensure spies haven’t infiltrated the ranks and begun to exert their own brand of influence? Hopefully little, if any.”

Prominent Republicans not accepting the Gospel According to Fox News? Seriously?

“Finally it seems as though a few Republicans and I are beginning to have things in common, namely that Fox News may not be the best mascot and promoter for the G.O.P.”

When the going get’s crazy…

“[Jason Levin’s] story has everything: crazies, pranksters, reactions and overreactions, and a general sense that a bunch of misguided fools are starting to fear for their flimsy platform’s integrity.”