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Libertarianism and McCain-Palin:

Ilya asks whether Palin has libertarian tendencies. What strikes me about McCain-Palin is that this is the first all-Western ticket in history. I'm not sure how to say this exactly, except that the vibe you get from them is a distinctive vibe. Just Clinton-Gore in 1992 had a sort of "Southern" vibe. And the western vibe doesn't feel like the Texas vibe (thank goodness), which is something still distinctive unto itself. In terms of personal style, for instance, George W. Bush and Anne Richards were very similar characters despite their ideological differences.

What is the "western" vibe? This is purely subjective, but to me it is the feeling of no-nonsense, self-reliant, egalitarian, outsiderism, sort of Barry Goldwater-ish. Is it libertarian? Not exactly, but it does have that sort of feeling to it, to me at least. It feels like Goldwaterism. And I think this trickles through to the worldview of the candidates and then to policy. It seems pretty clear to me (especially after last night) that John McCain sees himself as Gary Cooper riding into to town to single-handedly clean-up corruption and gun down the rascals.

Palin has a female version of this feel to me. I saw one similar point by Chris Matthews talking about Palin--he observed that although women are going to like Palin "men will like them too." Why? Because she likes men, and peole like those who like them. What does he mean? I think it is related to this. She has a sense of independence. But also, she obviously likes sports (and was a sportscaster), her speech suggests that she likes cracking jokes and being sarcastic but in a non-mean-spirited way (contra some of Jim's observations--her cracks come across as locker room "razzing" to me). This has a western tinge to me as well.

The only caveat to this is that McCain's westernism is tempered by his military background. And frankly, this is what concerns me most about him--his mind seems like a command-and-control, top-down worldview. To put the matter more elliptically to many but more accurately to my thinking, I think he simply does not understand or trust the idea of spontaneous order. In his worldview, things happen (good or bad) because somebody makes them happen. This is not a worldview that is conducive to understanding spontaneous order. That's a statist streak in him that offsets some of his westernism.

What I think bothers some people about this western vibe is that the self-reliance and independence sometimes comes off looking like a loose cannon or shoot-from-the-hip cowboyism. That's the rap that people tried to lay on Goldwater (successfully) and Reagan (less successfully).

I've lived all over the country, so maybe I'm just more attuned to this sort of local culture feeling, but that's the vibe I get from McCain-Palin.

Update:

A commenter submits Eisenhower-Nixon as an "All-Western" ticket preceding McCain-Palin (Kansas-California). I have no comment on their vibe as I was negative 14 years old when they were elected, so I'll defer to others about whether they had a western "vibe."

Stacy (mail) (www):
"In his worldview, things happen (good or bad) because somebody makes them happen."

In mine too, and I'm a very easygoing guy (despite what some of my comments here may sound like)

I think spontaneous order is a combination of people -and it's always just a few of the people in the room- making fairly big things happen on their own authority, with the sum of the results being generally good for everyone.

I've seen situations where all the people in the room each lift half a finger to do a few small things, and it's rare for that kind of setup to amount to anything overall.
9.5.2008 9:24am
David Warner:
On both being perceived as a loose cannon and the necessity of making things happen (not to mention being loathed, often unfairly, by his own party), McCain resembles Churchill. If it's any consolation, although he never did understand much mathematics or economics, Churchill did produce several very libertarian budgets as Chancellor in the 20's - including sharp defense cuts (!). On the other hand, he was never allowed the top slot until his country's utter need in 1940.
9.5.2008 9:29am
Big E:
I think you're projecting. Anyone listening to the words of McCain and Palin would be hard pressed to describe them as anywhere near libertarian.
9.5.2008 9:30am
js5 (mail):
wow. Goldwater-ish? You mean like, that McCain is from Arizona and nothing more?
9.5.2008 9:34am
PersonFromPorlock:
McCain's 'military' background is a problem that's occurred to me, too. A lifetime in the military may induce a command-and-control mindset. On the other hand, as all veterans know, there are times when 'the military way' fails to impress, as for instance when an idiot gets put in charge.

That's why his choosing Palin is so significant: it looks like he's taken the latter lesson from his military experience and discovered at least some value to a libertarian approach.
9.5.2008 9:41am
MP (mail) (www):
"The only caveat to this is that McCain's westernism is tempered by his military background."

Country First...doesn't sound very "western" to me.
9.5.2008 9:41am
llamasex (mail) (www):
Truthiness, My Gut tells me they are Libertarian.
9.5.2008 9:49am
Roslyn (mail) (www):
Interesting using the term "self-reliance and independence" in relation to Alaska (as a western state) in particular. Alaska is the biggest recipient of federal welfare in the country.
9.5.2008 9:51am
LN (mail):
And of course the Western US in general has been a major recipient of government subsidies throughout American history.

On the other hand, the West has cowboys and frontiersman and sheriffs and saloons and ranches, so it definitely feels libertarian.

On balance, it's a really tough call.
9.5.2008 10:16am
js5 (mail):
Best line from McCain's Speech last night.

"I understand free trade is not a positive for everyone. If a worker loses a job we must retrain them and prepare them for 21st Century jobs. That's why I have proposed a comprehensive reform of our unemployment insurance and worker retraining programs. We will use our community colleges to help train workers for specific opportunities in their communities. And for workers of a certain age who have lost a job that won't come back, we'll help make up the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one until they've completed retraining and found secure new employment at a decent wage. "


and you know what? Sarah Palin will be saying this much over the next 8 weeks. Because, you know, she's gonna get asked.

Libertarian? I guess if we redefine it...
9.5.2008 10:21am
Mikeyes (mail):
Like Goldwater except that Goldwater abhorred the religious right, was gay friendly (or at least disinterested), and he got along very well with his Demcratic rivals.

Goldwater also had a great sense of humor, one that was actually funny.

(When he related that he was not allowed to play golf at a WASP country club because he was Jewish, he says he asked them "I am only half Jewish, so can I play nine holes?")
9.5.2008 10:21am
ChrisIowa (mail):

The only caveat to this is that McCain's westernism is tempered by his military background.


Or or is it rather his military background is tempered by his westernism?
9.5.2008 10:44am
Angus:

his mind seems like a command-and-control, top-down worldview
Given her rather imperious treatment of subordinates and opponents in Alaska, I get the same vibe from Palin, only much stronger. I get a sense that she does not respond well to competing ideas, nor to bipartisanship.

I see Palin as very similar to Joe Biden, in the both seem to revel in pettiness and vindictiveness. My only solace is that neither is on the tops of their tickets, and no matter whether McCain or Obama wins, I will be fervently wishing for the health of the President. I think either Biden or Palin would be horrific in the White House.
9.5.2008 11:00am
Stacy (mail) (www):
"Like Goldwater except that Goldwater abhorred the religious right, was gay friendly (or at least disinterested), and he got along very well with his Demcratic rivals. "

McCain has never campaigned against gays or expressed any particular interest in religious right-ism, and gets along well enough with the Democrats that some were proposing him as an independent candidate, or even a running mate for Hillary or Obama before he entered the GOP primary race. And the McCain-Feingold bill (probably the best evidence against him being any sort of Libertarian) was, if memory serves, generally cast as a Democrat initiative with McCain as the aisle-crosser.

In this thread, though, you have to keep in mind that some posters are big-L Libertarians, who tend to be doctrinaire to the point of pedantry, while others are center-right or -left that generally prefer smaller government but recognize that things like McCain's proposal to retrain redundant workers are a matter of human decency, not ideology.
9.5.2008 11:03am
byomtov (mail):
What I think bothers some people about this western vibe is that the self-reliance and independence sometimes comes off looking like a loose cannon or shoot-from-the-hip cowboyism.

What bothers me about it is that it's total BS. Westerners love to talk about self-reliance, blah, blah, blah. But they live at the federal trough.
9.5.2008 11:05am
therut:
How much of the "west" does the dang .gov own? Maybe if the .gov did not own their property they would be more prosporous.
9.5.2008 11:12am
M (mail):
Others have said it already but the "self-reliance" of the west is nonsense and bad faith of the worst kind. It's a huge sucker at the federal teat and could barely survive without it. It's phony libertarianism of the worst, and all too common, kind. Alaska is, of course, the worst of the worst on this. I'm sorry to see people who should know better falling for this nonsense.
9.5.2008 11:14am
Mikeyes (mail):
Stacy sez,

McCain has never campaigned against gays or expressed any particular interest in religious right-ism, and gets along well enough with the Democrats that some were proposing him as an independent candidate

I think you are correct about Sen. McCain, but this is McCain/Palin that we are talking about. She has a record of being anti- on gay issues and very religious. I intend to vote his way and pray for good health.
9.5.2008 11:17am
darelf:
I've found that the things that bother "people" are not the things that bother "the people". They simply bother the type of people who spend all their time commenting on politics.
9.5.2008 11:17am
Blue:
"Palin likes men." That is a very concise way of putting something I have been mulling over.

I think there is a reason for that, as well--Palin isn't a Boomer. She is in one of the first cohorts of Gen-X. She didn't suffer through a lot of the same travails that the Boomer women politicians did that marked all of them with a seriousness and general lack of humor that just turns a lot of men off.

Palin didn't have to fight for a woman's basketball team--it was already in her high school. She didn't have to fight to study something but nursing or teaching--others had already gone into journalism. She didn't have to fight to be the first female newscaster in her market--others had gone before. The list goes on.

So she never experienced--at least not to the same level--the gnawing self-doubt that afflicted so many Second Wave feminists. I think that is the source of her confidence and her appeal.
9.5.2008 11:30am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

Interesting using the term "self-reliance and independence" in relation to Alaska (as a western state) in particular. Alaska is the biggest recipient of federal welfare in the country.


And of course the Western US in general has been a major recipient of government subsidies throughout American history.



Alaska, and the western states in general, also have by far the highest proportion of federally-owned (and untaxable) lands.

Tell you what. You let us tax that land as we would privately owned land, and we'll give back the federal aid, mmmkay?
9.5.2008 11:33am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

Given her rather imperious treatment of subordinates and opponents in Alaska, I get the same vibe from Palin, only much stronger. I get a sense that she does not respond well to competing ideas, nor to bipartisanship.


Which would be, of course, the cause of her 86 percent approval rating, and why it's the Republican establishment that hates her while the Democrats in Alaska are impressed with her willingness to work with them.

Cripes, read more widely.
9.5.2008 11:35am
Stacy (mail) (www):
"the "self-reliance" of the west is nonsense and bad faith of the worst kind. It's a huge sucker at the federal teat and could barely survive without it."

I'm going to have to do some more research on those federal expenditures, because the numbers being quoted appear not to be broken down in terms of military spending (there are many large bases in the west), maintenance of federal land (which as others have pointed out, is a very high percentage of land in western states) etc. versus traditional welfare and/or pork.

Maybe most of that $14k per capita goes for bridges to nowhere, but maybe 12 of it covers military bases or environmental enforcement for all that oil activity. Anyone have better figures?
9.5.2008 11:35am
Elliot123 (mail):
"Interesting using the term "self-reliance and independence" in relation to Alaska (as a western state) in particular. Alaska is the biggest recipient of federal welfare in the country."

Could you elaborate on what kind of welfare flows from the feds to the Alaska? Are you including military bases? If so, do you object to the siting of those bases? Should they be sited somewhere else? Are you including the management of the huge federal land holdings? If so, do you propose letting tha land go to private hands to lower the federal spending?
9.5.2008 11:41am
NB (mail):
Getting back to the vibe thing.

As someone who was raised in Montana and whose great-grandparents farmsteaded there and whose uncle was a cowboy in that great state... this ticket definitely has a Western/Mountain State vibe. Especially Palin. Holy smokes. From hunting to snow-mobiling to her politics to her accent (!), she's through and through a westerner. She's straight-forward, no-nonsense, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, libertarian (if not strictly in political terms, at least in "spirit"). McCain has the same feel, although to a lesser extent. These are the kind of people I grew up with, love, and trust. They believe in what I believe in, and I trust not only what they stand for, but the way they stand for it. Yes, they're politicians, but there's something fundamentally trustworthy about them.

It's been a long time since I felt that way about any politician.
9.5.2008 11:54am
metro1 (mail) (www):
I understand Ann and Nancy Wilson don't like the McCain-Palin campaign using Heart's "Barracuda" as a campaign song.

Here's Kathryn Jean Lopez' link from The Corner.

Of course, artists like the Wilsons don't own this material - the record label does. Every time the McCain-Palin campaign plays "Barracuda" - or any other song - they have to pay a fee to the record label. Part of that fee goes to the Wilsons. So the McCain-Palin campaign is playing by the rules - whether or not Ann and Nancy Wilson like it.

Heart's song "Barracuda" is owned by the Sony label.

See, e.g., here. See, also, this Sony site.

But - to keep Ann and Nancy Wilson happy - there's an easy solution to their issue with "Barracuda":

1. Every time the Wilsons get their (now increased) royalty checks for "Barracuda" they can give the money to Obama, or charity, or whoever they'd like, and

2. The Obama-Biden campaign could start playing "Barracuda" at their campaign rallies too!


Meanwhile, the book: "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on Its Ear" is #15 on Amazon's bestseller list:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/ref=sv_b_3
9.5.2008 11:58am
Angus:
86 percent approval rating

It's around 60% approval. Most of that is residual from not being as corrupt as Ted Stevens or Frank Murkowski. Leaders of her own party have spoken out loudly against her in Alaska, and her response is usually to pursue personal vendettas against them. She has, though, put together at least one bipartisan coalition -- to investigate her for abuse of power.
9.5.2008 12:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
She's straight-forward, no-nonsense, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, libertarian


I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet (sorry if I missed it). What kind of 'libertarian' shows an interest in banning books?

there's something fundamentally trustworthy about them


Proof of Palin making a false statement is here (more properly called a lie).

Proof of the McCain campaign making a false statement is here (not as egregious as the above, because it wasn't McCain personally).

I think you're going with your gut, instead of looking at facts. When we do that, we get the leaders we deserve. Fool me once etc.
9.5.2008 12:26pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
first all-Western ticket

Ike and Tricky Dick? Isn't Kansas more Western than the CZ, a whole4 bunch of Navy Bases, and Washington DC (where JSM III was raised)?
9.5.2008 12:31pm
David Warner:
"Palin isn't a Boomer"

We have a winner!

I think this is why she's the first one to treat Obama like the grown man he is. She was 4(!) in 1968. She acted like a post-sexist, and she treated Barack like a post-racist.
9.5.2008 12:32pm
Angus:

Of course, artists like the Wilsons don't own this material - the record label does. Every time the McCain-Palin campaign plays "Barracuda" - or any other song - they have to pay a fee to the record label.
Based on my understanding of copyright law, this is not always or even often the case. All lot of artists retain near full control over their songs and grant record companies limited rights to them.
9.5.2008 12:33pm
KWC (mail):
Sorry, but this is completely off the mark. For one, Alaska is not what you think of when you think of the West, but any stretch of the imagination. It's more like Hawaii or Texas, which have their own distinctive cultures. McCain was raised in the East and attending high school at a boarding school in the DC area (Alexandria). You can't get more non-West than that.

Also, anyone who would clump together Alaska and Arizona (except in listing the states alphabetically) doesn't have the knowldge of local cultures that he touts.
9.5.2008 12:46pm
Hoosier:
Based on my understanding of copyright law, this is not always or even often the case. All lot of artists retain near full control over their songs and grant record companies limited rights to them.

Angus--I think you're right about the situation now, post-Tom Petty. But 'Barracuda' was from, what, the late '70s? (I'm not a big fan, as you can tell.) Back in those days, it was pretty common for artists to sign away rights to their songs to the labels, right? So it is possible that this song is owned by Sony or whoever now. I'd like to hear from someone who knows about this specific song. Anyone?
9.5.2008 12:57pm
Hoosier:
metro--Missed your post. Thanks for the info.

Palin is not a Boomer.

I asked about this on a previous thread. Is this the consensus? BO was born in '61, which seems tail-end Boomer to me. Palin is a leading-edge Xer if that's the case.
9.5.2008 1:00pm
Elliot123 (mail):
One could say there are two Alaskan cultures. One is the older culture from before the oil. The other is the newer one which grew up around the oil people and commercial support structure which followed. Many of these newcomers came from Texas and Oklahoma and other western states. Along with them came billions of development dollars. I worked at the Slope for ten years and met relatively few who were from Alaska or Eastern states.

The oil jobs paid very well, but most were highly skilled and specialized. Those folks weren't in Alasska, so they came from other states. Resevoir engineers, pipeline engineers, chemists, etc. There was also a project labor agreement which gave unions the constuction work. These constituted the greatest number of jobs, but the Alaskan unions reached out to other states for tarvellers rather than expand ther local membership. This did not sit well with the long time Alaskan population.

The two cultures collided in 1981 when the legislature passed a bill to pay $1,000 to everyone who had been in the state for 25 years (the Sourdoughs). This left out all the new people. They didn't like that much, and had the numbers and political muscle to defeat the measure. So the legislature fixed them. They passed a bill that gave everyone $1,000. Now the two cultures began to merge and the friction between the two groups gradually diminished.

The greatest merging is in Anchorage, and diminishes as one moves to smaller towns. Wasilla is about a ninety minutes drive from Anchorage, but has steadily grown as Anchorage folks resettled. It's actually a wonderful place to live.

So, the current culture is a melting pot of Sourdough and Western states. I grant this is a huge generalization, but I think it is accurate over the long haul.
9.5.2008 1:18pm
Mark in Wyoming (mail):
Federal trough?

The "troughs" out here aren't horizontal but vertical. They're silos loaded with nuclear missiles. (Flying overhead, did you think those were crop circles?)

The claim to fame for F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne is that Eddie Rickenbacker once crashed his plane on its lone dirt strip and survived. Warren maintains 150 Minuteman III missiles but has no runway.

Some federal trough. If you don't have the facts, you're a bigot.

BTW, I agree with the main points of the article. McCain may tend toward a top down approach, but perhaps not because of his military experience. The Vietnam War was, after all, a top-down failure. I would think a military man would know that in his gut--or whatever old wound hurts on any given day.
9.5.2008 1:19pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
It might be more meaningful to characterize a "Mountain State" ethos than a "Western" one. Remember that California, Oregon, and Washington State are "Western", but with an ethos of their own.

Yes, Texas has its own distinct ethos, and don't you forget it, pardner.

Now, as for libertarian tendencies, McCain and Palin seem to have them, especially Palin, but also authoritarian tendencies, which are not necessarily non-libertarian. The "my-way-or-the-highway" management or leadership style is more about roles within a organization than about policies. I get the sense about Palin, however, that her authoritarian tendencies have mellowed somewhat as she as ascended.

My main concerns are not how "libertarian" they are, but how "constitutionalist" or "originalist". McCain has claimed virtue in "reaching across the aisle" to compromise with Democrats to "get things done", but from my viewpoint that is compromising with the Constitution. Politics may be the art of the possible, but it is better to get nothing done than to do something unconstitutional. I recognize as political courage the willingness to abandon policy preferences that are unconstitutional, and to make a serious scholarly effort to determine what is and what is not constitutional, based on linguistic analysis and the historical evidence. McCain has sponsored "bipartisan" legislation like the McCain-Feingold Act that are unconstitutional, and that is the reason I cannot support him. I suspect he doesn't really understand why they are unconstitutional, rather than that he doesn't care, but either way is a showstopper for me.

I see Palin as someone who examines the constitutional issues as they come before her, much like most judges do, rather than making a comprehensive study of the Constitution. Unlike most judges, she seems to usually get it right on the Constitution (state or U.S.) and to cleave to the Constitution even if it is unpopular to do so, or conflicts with her policy preferences, but we will see if she continues to do so.

The real test for me will come if and when she is asked to defend an unconstitutional McCain policy. I can tolerate her replying, "The position of Mr. McCain is ...", but would welcome her following up with, "But my personal position is that that is unconstitutional. I will go along with it while I am vice-President and as such do not have an executive position that puts me into conflict with the Constitution, but if I have to cast a tie-breaking vote it will be for the Constitution."

I don't expect her to do that, but one can always hope. It will, however, determine whether I can support what now seems her inevitable nomination for president some day. Otherwise, I will continue to vote and support the Libertarian Candidate, at least as long as I continue to play a major role in shaping the platform and policy positions of the Party and its main candidates, toward constitutional compliance.
9.5.2008 1:30pm
Cleanthes (mail) (www):
John McCain was a naval aviator. Pilots derive their openness from that. He doesn't seem much like a 3:10 to Yuma type all that much.

Palin though, does have the vibe. She does not have a "Minnesota" accent (as some have said), she has a west-of-the-Missouri mountain accent. I was born in Brule county, present population 5,364, but 700 more when I was a child. Casting myself into my younger way of thinking, Wasilla would be considered a BIG town. I can't always hide having an accent similar to hers.

I now live in an over-treed urban setting that too often gives me the confining sense of a Kafkaesque trap.

When I returned to Brule county two years ago after a better than 20 years absence, I felt free. You can see the herd of antelope four miles away easily and grab the binoculars for a better look.

There's something about the wide open spaces that opens the mind up to libertarianism.

On Creationism and Abortion at least, I read Palin's record as trying to put a libertarian spin on her position. The Alaska Independence Party has a rather considerable libertarian underpining. She probably wasn't a member, but she had to have heard their arguments.
9.5.2008 2:37pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Angus:

I gave you the links above. Sony owns Heart's "Barracuda."

I hope we hear "Barracuda" at all the McCain-Palin - and all the Obama-Biden - campaign rallies-
9.5.2008 3:10pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Angus and Hoosier:

For what it's worth I actually worked on a matter associated with song rights.

The labels (like Sony) own the songs. They get a licesning fee every time the song is used on a TV commercial, in a movie - and at a political rally.

Then the artist gets a percentage of the licensing fee.

Now, if the artist has a lot of negotiating power for songs on an album later in their career, they may be able to increase the percentage of their licensing fee. But the record company still owns the songs.

This is true the great majority of the time. The reason is simple: without the label to promote and distribute the music, the artist wouldn't make much money - because no one would hear the song.

With ipods and internet distribution now, this could change going forward. But it was certainly the case for a new band call "Heart" in the 1970's when they released their album "Little Queen" - containing the hit single "Barracuda."
9.5.2008 3:17pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Palin strikes me as being far more "Western" in the American sense than McCain does, and I've written about "Western" traits in America myself.

What strikes me most about Palin, though, is how much her personal political "style", for lack of a better word, resembles that of Theodore Roosevelt. In particular she seems to share what Edmund Morris describes as Teddy Roosevelt's joy in political combat.
9.5.2008 3:26pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
It is apparent that for Palin politics is another competitive team sport, and she is accustomed to being team captain. However, unlike a sporting contest, the "points" are for doing the right thing for the people (even if one has to ride roughshod over the team members).

Note: Palin's favorite phrase "servant's heart" is from Mark 10:44, "whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all." See http://www.bible-researcher.com/erv/mark.html#10
If you do a web search on the phrase "servant's heart" you will get a lot of links that point to what seems to be her philosophy of government and public service.
9.5.2008 3:38pm
Angus:
metro1, the links you provided said absolutely nothing about copyright or the rights to use the song.

However, if you look up the lyrics for the song, you'll see the following. There seems to be some shared negotiated arrangement, and I'll trust that Heart knows the status of their music more than a blog commenter.

© KNOW MUSIC
© STRANGE EUPHORIA MUSIC
© BMG SONGS INC
© OF THE ROSES MUSIC
9.5.2008 3:40pm
Hoosier:
Eisenhower-Nixon--The all western ticket from NYC.
9.5.2008 4:18pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
Angus:

Ann and Nancy Wilson didn't say that McCain-Palin couldn't use Barracuda. They just said they didn't like it. So they appear to be implicitly acknowledging that the owner of the song is the record label. This would undoubtedly be true for the reasons I discussed above.
9.5.2008 5:59pm
PrestoPundit (www):
McCain is from Virginia. He didn't move to Arizona till in his 40s.

Palin's mother is from Richland, Washington, my home town. And I can tell you that very much is Goldwater / Reagan western libertarian country, with a mix of national defense / 50s patriotism mixed in.
9.5.2008 6:02pm
PrestoPundit (www):
Eastern Washington, where Palin's mother is from, has pretty much the same "ethos" as Idaho. This region, Easter Washington, Eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Utah, is the most conservative / libertarian in the country, and votes most heavily Republican.

"It might be more meaningful to characterize a "Mountain State" ethos than a "Western" one. Remember that California, Oregon, and Washington State are "Western", but with an ethos of their own."
9.5.2008 6:05pm
CatoRenasci (mail):
I'm showing my age, but, as a 5th generation Californian, the Ike/Tricky Dick ticket didn't seem very 'Western' to me. Ike's manner and way of acting/speaking was much more a product of the old (pre-MacArthur reforms in the 1920s) Trade School (West Point) and the old Regular Army than the 'West' into which he was born. There was overlap in the old Army personality and the Western personality (quiet competence, courage, taking things as the come in stride and without complaint), but they were not the same and the old Army type was decidedly not libertarian. It was however, studiously and self-consciously apolitical to the point where most Regular Army officers did not even vote as a matter of principle before WWII.

Similarly, Tricky Dick, whom I knew slightly, was one of those rare Californians who always seem like they're not Californian.

I think Palin brings a very Western/Mountain feel to the race, and McCain's Navy pilot/class goat at the Boat School 'devil may care' undertone works well enough with it that it seems Western.
9.5.2008 6:33pm
Kirk:
Angus and metro1, aren't you two both (a) talking past each other, and (b) missing the point anyway? The point AFAICT is that (a) if we're talking about a new recording, it probably falls under compulsory licensing, or (b) if we're talking about playing somebody's existing recording, almost certainly the management of those rights have been delegated to someone like ASCAP/BMI and the copyright-holder (whoever it might be) no longer has individual control over that.
9.5.2008 7:26pm
Kirk:
Hey PrestoPundit,

Careful about where you lump western Washington! Take away Seattle, Olympia, and Bellingham, and the remainder is pretty conservative/western. I suspect the same is true of western Oregon minus Portland, Corvallis, and Eugene.
9.5.2008 7:32pm
one of many:
Blue said:
"Palin likes men." That is a very concise way of putting something I have been mulling over.

I think there is a reason for that, as well--Palin isn't a Boomer. She is in one of the first cohorts of Gen-X. She didn't suffer through a lot of the same travails that the Boomer women politicians did that marked all of them with a seriousness and general lack of humor that just turns a lot of men off.

Palin didn't have to fight for a woman's basketball team--it was already in her high school.
...
So she never experienced--at least not to the same level--the gnawing self-doubt that afflicted so many Second Wave feminists. I think that is the source of her confidence and her appeal.

excellent analysis. I'm not certain I entirely agree with it, but still an excellent analysis. It does have a 'feel' of rightness to it. I'll have to give it more thought before I render a final judgment on whether or not it is correct (in my opinion) but even if wrong it is still insightful.
9.6.2008 2:05am
Rich Rostrom (mail):
Eisenhower was from NY in 1952 (from PA in 1956; and did you Nixon also moved between 1968 - when he lived in NY - and 1972?).

The first all-west of the Mississippi ticket was Hoover (CA)-Curtis (KS) in 1928 and 1932.

The first all-west of the Appalachians ticket was Cass (MI)-Butler (KY) in 1848.

Breckinridge (KY)-Lane (OR) in 1860 was pretty "Western" for the time.

However, McCain (AZ)-Palin(AK) is the first ticket from west of the Continental Divide.
9.6.2008 2:57am
David Warner:
"For one, Alaska is not what you think of when you think of the West, but any stretch of the imagination."

It's our last frontier. It's even more "West" in the traditional sense than today's West is.

I think its interesting that three of the four candidates don't remember the late 60's tumult. McCain was otherwise engaged. Obama too young/too far away, Palin way too young.

She's all kind of X-er.

Gloria Steinem is 74.
9.6.2008 2:33pm
Malvolio:
Am I missing something? How about Bush (TX) - Cheney (WY) ?

Admittedly, Texas is east of the Continental Divide, but still, cowboys, longhorns, big belt-buckles...
9.7.2008 8:21pm