i know i said i wouldn’t write about palin again, but…

OK, so I only made it two days…. I know I said on Saturday that I wasn’t going to write about Palin any more, but then I happened across this comment by Robert Kennedy Jr and knew that I had to post it.

Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that “some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.

It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list.

I doubt seriously that Palin knew the background of the man she quoted in the speech, but I’m certain that whoever wrote it for her knew full well the significance, which I find incredibly troubling.

OK, and because I can’t stop, here’s another Palin-related clip to mull over. This one comes from the “New York Times“:

Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics is local, not to mention personal… So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency. Ms. Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at salaries far exceeding their private sector wages…

So, if elected, I’m sure that, if nothing else, we’ll have a lot of hilarious “You’re Doin’ a Heck of a Job, Brownie” moments as her poorly qualified high school buddies attempt everything from national diplomacy to disaster relief. I suppose that’s something. If we’re lucky, maybe there will even be a reality television show or two, and a few product tie-ins.

Oh, and it sounds like she didn’t think that the “Saturday Night Live” bit was all that funny… This comes from ABC News:

As comedienne Tina Fey debuted her impression of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, the governor and her staff were watching from 30,000 feet.

Palin was on board her campaign jet flying from Reno to Denver as 11:30 PM Eastern rolled around. But the show was available on the Jetblue charter’s satellite TV system.

Standing alongside SNL cast member Amy Poehler who was impersonating Hillary Clinton, Fey’s Palin extolled her foreign policy expertise in a flat midwestern accent: “I can see Russia from my house!”

There were howls of laughter from the sizeable press corps covering Palin’s first foray on the campaign trail without her running man as a chaperone.

But, from the front of the plane, silence. The flight attendants assured us Palin and her entourage were watching. What she thought, though, is anybody’s guess.

Palin has yet to say so much as hello to the press corps…

I don’t care so much that she didn’t find the SNL bit funny, but how fucking weird is it that she flies with the press, but hasn’t even so much as said hello? Rove and the rest of them must have really put the fear of God into her.

OK, just one more and I’ll stop. I promise. The following is a comment left on MetaFilter by someone calling himself Naberius:

Oh my god. OH MY GOD! I see the way clear to a better future. We vote in John McCain. Then, stay with me, stay with me… we KIDNAP SARAH PALIN AND REPLACE HER WITH TINA FEY!!

She’d totally pull it off. She’s perfect. If Sarah Palin’s not standing right next to her, you’d totally believe it’s her. Once she’s sworn in, we just wait for McCain to keel over, and PRESIDENT TINA FEY!! How fucking cool would that be? Imagine a President that’s not just the best of a bad lot, but one you’re actually head over heels in love with. Like Katharine Hepburn in Philadelphia Story in love.

It’s destiny. This is why Tina Fey was born looking like she does. Her moment has come to rise up and save her country.

Wow, I see it now. The future can be so much more than this. Anything can happen. Anything at all. It’s so beautiful.

Now, I give you my word, I will put Palin out of my mind and focus on McCain. I promise.

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  1. camelcamel
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    McCain Camp: Tina Fey Is ‘Sexist’.
    In response to Tina Fey’s genius Sarah Palin impression on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live (at right), McCain spokeswoman Carly Fiorina called Fey’s portrayal “sexist” and “disrespectful.”

    Fiorina went on to say that “just because Sarah Palin has different views than Hillary Clinton does not mean that she lacks substance.”

    The election is in six weeks and time’s a wastin’. Instead of calling a female comedian “sexist” when she very obviously is not, let’s have a chat with Palin about her “substance.”


  2. Oliva
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Wow, conservative columnist David Brooks at NYT has an op-ed today (“Why Experience Matters”) in which he admits that Palin is not at all what we need: “Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.”


  3. not one of the cool kids
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Well, a few days ago I said here that I thought it was a good idea not to talk about Palin. Now I can’t keep my word either.

    Over the weekend my 73 yr. old Catholic democrat livelong Detroit relative and I were talking politics, I asked him about Palin, he said, “nice Lenscrafters commercial, but I am still more worried about the prejudice people in this country and how no matter how bad they are doing, they will still not vote for Senator Obama because he is one half African America.”
    He said he wants to think that the American public must be smarter than to elect McCain/Palin, but after thinking about it for the last few weeks, watching her popularity grow…all he can come up with is that Palin is popular because it makes those people that would secretly never vote for an African America feel better. He went on to say that these people would never admit that they wouldn’t vote based on race, but now with Palin they all can feel better about themselves picking McCain. They tell themselves that Palin (no matter how unqualified) is more like them than Senator Obama. He went on to say, “We are in the worst economic state in the nation…and McCain is ahead in most polls, someone explain this to me please!”

  4. Mark H.
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The RFK Jr. comment on the hatefulness of the author Palin’s speechwriters had her quote is very significant — it shows that the McCain-Palin team of advisers is filled not just with corporate lobbyists, but with hard-right-wing ideologues.

  5. Oliva
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    “They tell themselves that Palin (no matter how unqualified) is more like them than Senator Obama.” –not one of the cool kids’ relative

    Biden addressed this concern directly in Flatrock yesterday. I took notes but don’t have exact wording, but here’s the gist: “Right-wing radio is trying to scare people by saying Barack is different, not like you. He’s like us. He’s just somebody really smart. You might say, ‘Someone as smart as Barack, he must not be from my neighborhood.’ But I tell you what, he’s the real deal; there’s nothing phony about him.”

  6. UBU
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    It’ll be sad if this election comes down to race…

  7. UBU
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    and check out the Sarah Palin baby name generator:


  8. Robert
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    UBU, of course it’s coming down to race. Why would anyone have expected otherwise?

    It’s essentially going to be a competition between votes lost due to race versus new voters registered and energized largely due to race.

    I’m guessing three quarters or more of late undecideds will break against Obama on account of race. This means he has to have enormous turnout of new voters and newly energized voters. Young people and racial minorities have to turn out in percentages comparable to those of older folks and the racial majority.

    If the election were held today, McCain would win. He would likely carry Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

    Fortunately for all those Obama supporters who apparently are just now finding out that America isn’t some utopian race-blind paradise, there is still time to identify, register, and energize potential Obama voters.

    If McCain wins this thing, you can’t just blame it on racism, though I’m sure that’s what most on the losing side will do. That will be much easier than acknowledging it was also entirely reversible had it not been for the laziness of so much of Obama’s support.

  9. Sirhan Harvey Sirhan
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that “some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.

    But Bobby was killed by a Palestinian.

    And brother Jack was killed by a Communist.

    (Unless your a conspiracy nut)

  10. Mark H.
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    SHS — your point is what? That is OK for right-wingers to have advocated killing Kennedys back in the 1960s, since they did not actually kill any of the Kennedys themselves? (Right wingers killed Dr. King of course). You seem to overlook the dubious ethics of a public figure relying on the ideas of extremists, as Palin is doing.

    Robert: — I largely agree with you. But also, the sad fact is is that the Obama campaign has hung onto its mantra of “change” without foreceful advocacy of specific things that will energize working class voters. Obama has allowed McCain to get more millage out of the economic crisis than Obama has — and Obama has been weak on the morgage crisis all summer. He could have slammed Wall Street, slammed Wasington, slammed the lobbyists, and promised radical steps to stop foreclosures and save Americans from being evicted — and then he’d have won over lots of working class whites. They need somehting more than generalities to go for Obama.

    And yes, go out and register people, absolutely. But the campaign has been deadly dull for months now, except for those who are already supporters. The states moving AWAY from Obama now are Democratic core states! MN for goodness sakes! Obama and his campaign have shown loads of over confidence, and not just a little bit of the sin of pride. Spread too thin, and not focused on the #1 message: an “us” versus “them” economic populism platform. Without that, he just looks like an elitist Ivy league Black guy to many voters. granted, they’ve not been paying much attention, but that’s the nature of American politics.

    Obama is trapped inside a bubble of his own making. He lacks, it seems, the cold calculating realism of the Kennedys, who knew how to wage a fight they could win….

  11. Oliva
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Well, at least lately Obama has used the words urgent and urgency, so maybe he isn’t necessarily overconfident. Knowing too well my own unsettling feelings and the mammoth triumph over dread behind remaining hopeful about an Obama-Biden administration, I do appreciate his sense of urgency.

    Biden ended his Flatrock speech–like his convention speech–quoting his father, who’d tell him when he got knocked down, “Get up, get up, champ–GET UP!” And he thereby exhorts the crowd to keep going. It’s got some power, and for me it resonates with the mighty lines from Harriet Tubman that Hillary Clinton quoted in her convention speech (same words that appear on the slab at the base of the Harriet Tubman statue up near Bombadill’s), “Keep going,” as well as the lines from the Langston Hughes poem “Mother to Son”:

    Don’t you set down on the steps.
    ‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
    Don’t you fall now–
    For I’se still goin’, honey,
    I’se still climbin’

    As for hopefulness such as this seeming too dreamy and flimsy, I believe it becomes very powerful when fortified by action and will (e.g., we have till 6 October to get people to register to vote–and can do so much to help this thing up till Election Day).

  12. Westler Pegbrook
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    The Westbrook Pegler threatening RFK thing is bogus. Pegler was a right of center maureen Dowd of his day, a wise ass. he won a Pulitzer Prize for goodness sake. One of the Pulitzer Prize winning schticks used by Pegler was to write in another’s voice, Pegler was very anti-union and wrote a column about RFK as if it were written by Detroit’s own Jimmy Hoffa. That’s where the supposed THREAT comes from. House come RFK, Jr doesn’t actually quote him? Give it a rest.

    Pegler also skewered the KKK by writing in their voice.

    And Pegler was married to a jew.

    RFK, Jr. is that stupid … and HIS grandfather really WAS a fascist.

  13. Robert
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Sirhan Harvey Sirhan, your comments are completely beside Mark H’s point, which reflect your complete lack of logical thinking, typical of your kind.

    I’m the resident “conspiracy nut” here, and you wouldn’t last five minutes in a debate on the subject against me.

  14. Robert
    Posted September 16, 2008 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Westler Pegbrook, where did you get this notion of Westbrook Pegler writing in “another’s voice.” Can you provide links to more information on that?

    SHS, ironically, Westbrook Pegler was also a “conspiracy nut.”

  15. Robert
    Posted September 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Palin is a wuss. Tina Fey’s impersonation of her triggered a bizarre and childish response from her. She said she had gone out on Halloween as Tina Fey. I guess this is supposed to be some sort of comeback. Palin’s a dope. Her bitter attempts at comedy are almost as bad as ytown’s.

  16. Robert (writing in The Joker's voice)
    Posted September 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Westler Pegbrook, maybe Sarah Palin is speaking in someone else’s voice when she quotes Westbrook Pegler.

    Right now, your comment just looks like Republican Party damage control spam. If you’re a real person, it might help to provide an ounce of evidence to what you say.

  17. Westler Pegbrook
    Posted September 17, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Pegler’s stuff isn’t online, so even an ounce is too heavy a burden for me.I’m waiting for someone else to do the legwork.

    I came across him when I was researching FDR vs. America-Firsters. I’m an M.A. History but I dropped out of the Ph.D. program.

    I don’t think anyone’s “damage controlling” yet. No one knows or cares who James Westbrook Pegler is and, unless you’re a left-wing nutjob, as soon as someone carelessly throws out the word “fascist” you just tune them out.

  18. Robert
    Posted September 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Westler Pegbrook, I’m just glad to see you’re a real person, and not the usual spamming software the GOP noise machine uses to generate ‘cover’ on the Internets.

    Seeing you’re real, I don’t doubt you may have better inside info on this Pegler fellow than the rest of us here. I do find it odd that there is nothing on line which documents the counters to RFK Jr’s claims, and that leaves me with reservations about conceding just yet. Regardless, it’s nice to see an educated interjection once in a while on this otherwise troll controlled blog of Mark’s.

  19. Westler Pegbrook
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve found if you use “google books” some of Pegler’s early stuff is on there. Notably the “George Spelvin, American” pieces.

    Reads a bit like Morton Downey, Jr. Remember him?

    My guess is that in his younger days Pegler was a fun guy to be around because he was cut a lot of slack by his newspaper buddies like Murray Kempton. Near the end I would bet he was suffering alcohol related brain damage. he reads like an old angry drunk who just wants to get a rise out of people but nobody cares.

  20. Robert
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Except for the “younger days” part, that Pegler guy’s life sounds a lot like mine.

  21. Oliva
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    “Dangerous Minds: William F. Buckley soft-pedals the legacy of journalist Westbrook Pegler in the New Yorker,” by Diane McWhorter, Thursday, March 4, 2004:


    A couple snippets:

    To read Buckley’s loving appreciation, you would think that Pegler, once the top right-wing gun of the popular press (he died in 1969), was a wicked-tongued but harmless rascal who spoke truth to power, stood up for the little man, and refused to cut his “odd integrity” to fit the changing moral fashions. . . . Students of history, however, may come to a different conclusion.

    His proposal for “smashing” the AF of L and the CIO was for the state to take them over. “Yes, that would be fascism,” he wrote. “But I, who detest fascism, see advantages in such fascism.”

    In admiring Pegler’s famous declaration of solidarity with the common man–“I am a member of the rabble in good standing”–Buckley neglects to say that it came from a column in praise of a California lynch mob that killed two (white) men charged with a kidnapping-murder (though he mentions this case elsewhere in the piece). And I doubt readers would be charmed by Pegler’s unyielding disregard for “the least inhibition of political correctness” if Buckley had offered examples of that steadfastness: his assertion in November 1963 (at the height of the civil rights movement) that it is “clearly the bounden duty of all intelligent Americans to proclaim and practice bigotry”; his embrace of the label racist, “a common but false synonym for Nazi, used by the bigots of New York”; or his habit of calling Jews “geese,” because they hiss when they talk, gulp down everything before them, and foul everything in their wake.

  22. mark
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    But maybe Buckley was just writing in his “right wing voice.” He’s actually a really great guy when he’s not in character… He’s a wonderful performance artist, as is Pat Buchanan.

  23. Mark H.
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Yup, Olivia, your link to the Diane McWorther piece nails it — this Westbrook character was seriously far right. Racist, fascist, McCarthyite far right — and the people writing lines for Palin and her sidekick McCain are apparently into him. God help us.

  24. Posted September 22, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Fascist historian Arthur Schlesinger in his fasc-bio ‘Robert Kennedy and His Times’, fascistically describes fascist writer Pegler as a “chum” of fascist Joseph P. Kennedy. (p. 808)

    Noble anti-fascists RFK,Jr. and Diane McWhorter seemed to forget to mention that.

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