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You Can Put Lipstick on a Pit Bull

but she's still an intellectual lightweight. Sarah Palin apparently has never heard the phrase "Bush Doctrine." Sure, the phrase has several potential meanings, but she doesn't seem to be familiar with any of them. Talk about the look of a deer caught in the headlights. She appears not to understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not (or at least until this week were not) funded by the federal government. Before the mortgage market imploded, plenty of policy sophisticates might not have known this, but there sure has been a lot of press about those two companies this summer. She says she's against creating embryos for stem cell research, apparently not realizing that the bills supported by both Obama and McCain would allow federal funding only of research on embryos that are left over from fertilization clinics, not embryos created for research. She claims government spending can be substantially reduced merely by finding "efficiencies" in entitlements. She doesn't appear to notice any inconsistency between her claim that she said "thanks, but no thanks" regarding the bridge to nowhere and the fact that she kept the money. And, of course, the list could go on and on.

The problem with Palin on a national ticket is not her lack of experience, per se. Few governors have much, if any, direct foreign policy experience, and we elect them President quite often. Specific experience can be quite overrated, and if you blindly use it to reinforce rather than challenge your prior beliefs and prejudices it can be downright harmful. The problem is that it isn't clear that she even pays much attention to the newspapers or has had, prior to this week's airplane flight to Alaska with McCain staffers, any in-depth conversations or even in-depth thoughts about the critical issues that have faced the country over the last several years. The Palin interviews with Charlie Gibson over the past two days have provided definitive proof that she lacks the intellectual heft that she will sorely need if she ever were to find herself having to weigh and choose between competing arguments made by advisors about complicated policy questions.

She's in way over her head. Worse, if you believe what she told Gibson about her lack of hesitation when McCain offered her the position, she doesn't even know it. No matter how much you might like or admire John McCain, given McCain's age and prior health issues, you should be very frightened about casting your vote for him.

Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Sarah Palin apparently has never heard the phrase "Bush Doctrine." Sure, the phrase has several potential meanings, but she doesn't seem to be familiar with any of them.

And how should she have known which meaning Gibson intended? Telepathy? Magic?

Note that Gibson's own explanation seems at best to have been only partially correct, if at all.

She doesn't appear to notice any inconsistency between her claim that she said "thanks, but no thanks" regarding the bridge to nowhere and the fact that she kept the money.

She isn't the only one. Would you care to explain the inconsistency to us, bearing in mind the fact that money is fungible?
9.13.2008 6:26am
mariner (mail):
Well, you have your opinion and I have mine. On November 4 we'll see how many people agree with you and how many agree with me.

I'm not at all frightened by voting for Palin^^^^^McCain. I AM frightened at the [dimming] prospect of an Obama presidency.
9.13.2008 6:35am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
What? How could you possibly come to these conclusions after having watched the interview? She not only knew what the Bush Doctrine was, but was savvy enough to know that it is a rather vague term coined to describe Bush's positions on the War on Terror, preemptive military strikes etc. As I cannot even begin to comprehend what you said about Fannie Mae and Freddie I am unable to respond.
9.13.2008 6:45am
Daran (mail):
But she is the number two on the ticket. Obama is the number one on the ticket, and to the extend that he is better informed has made terrible calls (no surge, invade Pakistan, unconditional talks with tyrants and terrorists....)
9.13.2008 7:02am
Vernunft (mail) (www):
VC just jumped the shark. Stay classy, dudes. Maybe when the election is over you'll actually post about the law, or something. I won't be around to see it, but hey. Good luck with that.

So distasteful.
9.13.2008 7:08am
Lakini (mail):
As to the "Bush Doctrine" exchange, I believe this article should provide some illumination:

Also, I wonder why one presumes Obama is any brighter? Anytime I have heard him speak (apart from a teleprompter) he struck me as a stammering fool, he appears to be giving "W" a run for his money on gaffes. Remember his belief there are 58 states, or that a tornado killed 10,000 Americans? I digress, but between Biden &Obama I am getting quite a chuckle out of this year's campaign.
9.13.2008 7:12am
Perseus (mail):
While I agree that a greater familiarity with such policy details would be nice, it doesn't necessarily follow that she lacks the "intellectual heft" necessary to be a competent president (e.g., compare Reagan v. Carter).
9.13.2008 7:16am
Lakini (mail):
Sorry the link failed to appear, must be operator error.
9.13.2008 7:17am
Thomasly (mail):
Didn't Tyler Cowen already post on this? People who themselves don't understand the issues shouldn't complain that she doesn't. Charlie Gibson apparently didn't realize that "the Bush Doctrine" is ambiguous. Russell doesn't understand GSEs. Russell also apparently doesn't realize that there are bills to ban cloning embryos for research purposes, and that funding research on embryos from fertilization clinics is the only question of federal policy. And so on.
9.13.2008 7:21am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Korobkin:

"She appears not to understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not (or at least until this week were not) funded by the federal government."


I think your statement is misleading because you are using the word "funded" in too restricted a sense. From the CBO Report: Assessing the Public Costs and Benefits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (May 1996).
Using GSE status to enhance the credit quality of the enterprises provides Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with savings in funding costs worth billions of dollars each year.
The benefit has "no cost" to the government or taxpayers only in the same restricted sense that the government would incur no out-of-pocket cash cost in providing free hydropower to an aluminum producer or giving federal lands to a developer, even though the recipients and their competitors would be willing to pay for those "gifts." In giving away the federal government's credit standing, which many private firms would pay to acquire, economic benefits are being transferred that are equivalent to those provided by writing Treasury checks.
It took me less than 1 minute to find out Fannie and Freddie do receive the equivalent of federal funds, and I can only conclude that you don't really understand how Fannie and Freddie operate either.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
9.13.2008 7:22am
metro1 (mail) (www):
Professor Korobkin:

I'm not sure I want to take the time to weigh-in on each of your statements in this post. Not a a single sentence in your three-paragraph post appears supported by evidence, common sense or any actual statement made by Palin. Several of your sentences are factually inaccurate descriptions of what Gov. Palin said.

It appears to me that the other writers of this blog put you up to this post just to counter any perceived pro-Palin coverage here.

Or, perhaps, you were compelled to post this because you lost a bet.

I suppose I could test my theory.

Professor Korobkin:

QUESTION 1. What is your definition of "The Bush Doctrine"? See, for background, here and here. Now, wouldn't you agree that Gov. Palin's response to Charlie Gibson about "The Bush Doctrine" was more honest and accurate than Gibson's original question? Show your work.

QUESTION 2. Compare the experience of Gov. Palin to be Vice-President to the experience of Sen. Obama to be President. Wouldn't you agree that Gov. Palin has more experience to be Vice-President - and President - than Sen. Obama to be President? In you answer, discuss the experience prior to taking national office of: Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Also, in your answer, discuss the experience for national office of the following candidates and potential candidates: Howard Dean, Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton. Show your work.
9.13.2008 7:23am
Jeremiah (mail) (www):
Right on in every respect. Thank you for continuing to add thoughtful analysis. By the way (Daran), Obama has given credit for the surge, but ignoring the Anbar Awakening is disingenious. Second, why is invading Pakistan as Obama suggested the wrong thing? This is an enourmous safe haven for terrorists and we have increased attacks in Pakistan after Obama suggested. Unconditional talks with tyrants and terrorists is not what Obama has indicated he would do. First, he has indicated that all talks are conditional. Second, while he has shown more willingness to talk to leaders of all countries (on certain conditions), to simply say he wants to have unconditional talks with terrorists is a quite a broad mischaracterization.
9.13.2008 7:23am
Cody (mail):
Palin's comments about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were absolutely correct, and your's are completely incorrect. I hate to throw your own words back at you, but given how much press these two organizations have received recently, I can't believe you didn't realize that the fundamental problem with them was that they are implicitly backed by the government.

As for the rest...meh. Palin's response to the Bush Doctrine question could indicate she hadn't heard of it...or might just indicate she wasn't sure what Gibson meant by it. (Since Gibson gave an incorrect answer when he tried to explain it, I think he came off worse than she did either way...) Her claim about efficiencies was pretty lame...but I'd be a wee bit more upset if Obama hadn't claimed the exact same thing. There actually isn't any inconsistency with keeping the money for the bridge but using it for local priorities and a stand against earmarks - but it's not quite as impressive as it sounds at first glance. And so on. Not exactly what I'd like to see from a presidential candidate but no worse than McCain or Obama are doing (and arguably better) - and they're actually presidential candidates. Scary, no?
9.13.2008 7:25am
davod (mail):
"Remember his belief there are 58 states"

Please do not exaggerate. Obama said 57 states.
9.13.2008 7:48am
ern (mail):
Wow. I wouldn't have expected such an inane post on VC. Having spent some time with the 2002 document Gibson referred to, and followed development of the idea of the "Bush Doctrine" closely since, I was actually *impressed* that Palin handled the question like she did. When Gibson asked, it was obvious he meant the standard leftist definition of the doctrine, which is actually incorrect. She steered him into admitting it, demonstrating that Gibson himself wasn't terribly prepared. As for her answer, it was fine, even if her manner was nervous.

As for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, can you seriously argue that her answer was wrong? As I see the comments above say, they were implicitly backed by the government.

Who is the lightweight again? I know we tend to see what we expect to see in these interviews, but I expected bloggers on VC to demonstrate at least a little critical thinking.
9.13.2008 7:49am
davod (mail):
Don't be to hard on this post. I think Russell Korobkin is a provocateur trying to ferret out those who know the true picture.
9.13.2008 7:53am
Martinus (mail) (www):
The lengths people are willing to go in order to slam Sarah Palin never ceases to amaze me. Of course, none of it's sticking. The problem her opponents have is, she's the real deal. She isn't a crooked politician they can expose with ease. She is a clean and honest American woman, and that really scares the Obama/Biden groupies.
9.13.2008 7:58am
Lakini (mail):
Thanks Davod, my mistake.
9.13.2008 7:58am
Smokey:
Ah. We have a new mind-reader: Russell Korobkin.

Is it mental telepathy that allows Russell to know -- absent any evidence, other than his unfounded opinion -- that he can see someone's unspoken thoughts? Tell us how that works, Russell. And since you can mind read, tell us, Russell, why you don't go to Las Vegas and clean up at the high roller Texas Hold 'Em tables?

Governor Palin gave no reason at all for anyone to buy what you're trying so desperately to sell here. She deftly avoided Gibson's attempted "gotcha," and as has been repeatedly pointed out throughout this silly DailyKos talking-points discussion, there are dozens to hundreds of different versions of the uncodified 'Bush doctrine' -- just as there were numerous variations of different Clinton doctrines [eg: Wag the Dog, etc.]

Governor Palin gave exactly the right answer: the Bush doctrine is Bush's world view.

Liberals, without any evidence, are now attempting to sell the preposterous idea that Gov. Palin is so out of it that she has never heard the term 'Bush doctrine' before. Why? Because that's all they've got. By trying to make this silly case, they are badly underestimating this lady.

Sarah Palin repeatedly objected to the endemic corruption in both Parties. She was disregarded by the good ol' boys running the state, who badly underestimated her. In response, Palin ran for her Party's nomination for Governor, against a sitting incumbent -- very much of an an uphill battle.

She won the nomination.

Then she ran for governor against a well-known former Democrat governor.

She won the election.

Since then her approval rating has been 80 - 90%. That means she is giving the citizens [as opposed to the special interests] what they want. That's the whole idea behind representative democracy.

Following her election, Governor Palin immediately moved to prosecute corruption in her state, putting four representatives, of both Parties, into prison. Six more are under indictment, and plenty of others are shaking in their boots.

So go ahead, Korobkin, latch on to your one lame talking point. It shows your true colors. If this is all you've got, you've got nothin' but an empty suit and a serial intellectual property thief for your candidates.

America loves an underdog, and America loves a winner. Sarah Palin is both. She illustrates the stark choice between a far Lefty who disrespects our National Anthem, an an honest American who, like us, is intolerant of the political corruption we see every day. McCain hit a grand slam by naming her as his VP.
9.13.2008 8:13am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Keep at it hater. I can only imagine your bitterness at a McCain/Palin win.
9.13.2008 8:15am
Clint:
"Remember his belief there are 58 states"

Davod: Please do not exaggerate. Obama said 57 states.

Your recollection is mistaken.

He said he had already been to 57 states, and had one more to go, not counting Alaska and Hawaii. So, technically, he said that there were 60 states.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws
9.13.2008 8:16am
Loophole1998 (mail):
What I love about the current Republican party is their seemingly instinctive distaste for the non-average.

This was not a case of Ms. Palin asking Gibson to clarify an ambiguous term. It was clear that she had never even heard the phrase.
9.13.2008 8:26am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

you should be very frightened about casting your vote for him


Right. Have no fear about electing an abject sophomoric Marxist instead.

Someone missed the lifetime memo about conservatives voting against disaster rather than for it.
9.13.2008 8:49am
Federal Dog:
"Sarah Palin apparently has never heard the phrase "Bush Doctrine."


Bull. You are assuming that.

People throw that expression around to mean everything from preemptive action against terrorist states to any damned thing Bush does that they don't like. Asking for clarification of what he was asking about was completely reasonable.
9.13.2008 8:52am
davod (mail):
Clint and Lakini:

Sorry. I should have Googled before posting. Much like Obam should have Googled before publishing the Mcain's age ad.
9.13.2008 8:56am
TruePath (mail) (www):
I really don't like Palin but to be fair I don't think the whole bush doctrine issue should be held against her. I mean this is just a term that a particular circle that styles themselves the only class knowledgeable enough to govern. I could care less if she knows little code words (this is hardly the Monroe doctrine yet) so long as she knows the facts when the question is described without the jargan.

Also I really don't see any contradiction between her keeping the money from the bridge to nowhere and being against earmarks in general. Do any of you refuse to take tax deductions because you believe the tax system would be better without them? In these situations all that refusing to take the money would accomplish would be to make the program you oppose more popular while robbing you of money.

I mean if Palin hadn't accepted that money it would have just meant that Alaskan citizens were donating their tax dollars to pork barrel projects in other states. Moreover, by increasing the ratio of benefits to costs seen in other states meaning the undecided governors and senators from these areas will be more likely to support it.

-----------

These things having been said the other points you made are more than enough to establish your conclusion.
9.13.2008 9:00am
Franklin Drackman:
I'll learn about the "Bush Doctrine" when Democrats learn about the 2d Ammendment.
9.13.2008 9:00am
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
I call shenanigans! This is the worst VC post ever.
9.13.2008 9:00am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Prof K.'s post is astonishing.
Who on earth would believe that at this point?
Who on earth would believe Prof K. believes it?
The best answer is he lost a bet made while in wine.
9.13.2008 9:02am
Fury:
I don't have a problem with the post by Korobkin. Rightly or wrongly, it's just another perspective on Sarah Palin. And subsequent posters have already responded to some of the assertions made by Korobkin.

Folks are never going to agree on Palin, that is the way of things.
9.13.2008 9:09am
K. Dackson (mail):
What worries me is why the good professor derides Palin's attitude towards earmarks while embracing both Obama's and Biden's attitude.

I guess that he must have forgotten that both of these senators actually voted for the bridge to nowhere (McCain voted "NO"), while the govenor refused to take it.

Which is the more honorable, not to mention fiscally responsible, position?
9.13.2008 9:16am
Parared:
Blah blah blah, whine whine whine

bored with leftists now ...
bad zombies, no obama for you.
9.13.2008 9:27am
taney71:
I think what is sad is that Charlie Gibson, who had at least days if not a week to prepare, could not define the Bush Doctrine.

There are tons of different versions of the Bush Doctrine. Gibson had his which was probably one. Palin had one which is probably one. Let's just say Gibson screwed up and Palin did fine in answering.
9.13.2008 9:33am
taney71:
Meant to put had a week to prepare to ask that question.
9.13.2008 9:34am
p. rich (mail) (www):
You, Russell boy, have aptly demonstrated your ignorance and bias. "Bush Doctrine" is a media-coined term whose ill-defined meaning has changed several times over the past 5 years - according to the man who coined it. Gibson was wrong, his question likely an intended 'Gotcha!' and a request for clarification was completely appropriate. Knock off parroting Dim talking points (Scary Sarah - ooooooooh...)and go find something useful to do. Your opinion is a waste of space.
9.13.2008 9:48am
rarango (mail):
What a terrible post. It is quite clear, that if Korobkin is an example, that law professors should stick to professing on the law to avoid beclowning themselves. As other posters noted, please read Krauthammers article. Please read Zarkov's rejoinder as well. What is clear is that Gibson had not the remotest idea of what the so called "Bush Doctrine" is, and Gov Palin was right in asking for clarification.

If this post is an example its going to be long weekend on VC.
9.13.2008 9:48am
matt b (mail):
i see no inconsistency in being against earmarks and federal government spending while keeping the bridge to nowhere expenditure. in fact it is a fundament of her job to raise funds from the feds to support her state. this doesn't mean she won't fight government spending as a federal official.
9.13.2008 9:51am
byomtov (mail):
Chuckle.
9.13.2008 9:53am
pluribus:
mariner:

Well, you have your opinion and I have mine. On November 4 we'll see how many people agree with you and how many agree with me.

This is a brilliant insight. I had never thought of that.
9.13.2008 9:54am
pluribus:
Jerome Cole:

As I cannot even begin to comprehend what you said about Fannie Mae and Freddie I am unable to respond.

Thanks for responding anyway.
9.13.2008 9:55am
PersonFromPorlock:

The problem is that it isn't clear that she even pays much attention to the newspapers....

You say that to a bunch of blog readers? Like it's a bad thing?
9.13.2008 9:58am
enjointhis:
The comments seem a touch more hate-filled than usual this morning.

With respect to the substance of the post, I think Palin's comments were technically correct, but for the wrong reasons. While Fannie Mae &Freddie Mac may have been government funded, I surmise that Palin was thinking about a more direct governmental link. Likewise, I think commenters seized on the ambiguities of the Bush Doctrine to cover for Palin's lack of familiarity with the term. It reminds me a little bit of geometry proofs where one has to show the steps one took to reach a particular conclusion. Ultimately, we too are inferring conclusions as to Palin's knowledge and ability to think on her feet. Which makes this thread a little less-than-useful.

The bigger question is, do these things really matter? Does it matter that a candidate cannot, off the top of her head, speak with precision about the precise nature of a quasi-governmental agency? It strikes me as the Congressman's conundrum: people expect their congressman to be more knowledgeable than they are, about subjects they're experts in: whether it be agriculture, firefighting, finance, or the like.

I think that's not particularly fair. A leader doesn't need to be all-knowing. Instead, one needs to be a quick study, have an articulable vision, and know enough to surround him/herself with knowledgeable people, etc. I'm sure there are more qualities in great leaders, but coming up with glib, off-the-cuff answers seems to be pretty low on the list, IMHO.
9.13.2008 10:01am
pluribus:
Thomasly:

People who themselves don't understand the issues shouldn't complain that she doesn't.

But people who themselves don't understand the issues should make it clear that the vice president doesn't need to understand them either. Posters here are doing that very well. Sarah Palin's lack of understanding is the ideal we all aspire to.
9.13.2008 10:05am
Huan (www):
When the Bush Doctrine was first mentioned in the interview, my immediate response is "support of democracy."
but as we all know that there are more variations of what it means.
So that she asked what Gibson meant was appropriate.

I rather our leader get clarifications if there is uncertainty than make an assumption and react.
9.13.2008 10:06am
pluribus:
metro1:

I'm not sure I want to take the time to weigh-in on each of your statements in this post.

Despite your uncertainty, it was good of you to weigh-in on each of his statements.
9.13.2008 10:08am
Wildmonk (mail) (www):
Has there ever been an election where "fashion" means as much as it does in this one?

Supporters and independents see Sarah answering questions, sometimes with a politician's stilted language, sometimes with an endearing charm. She's a bit uncertain what Charlie meant by "the Bush Doctrine" - maybe she knows it is an ambiguous term, maybe she just hasn't heard of it. Most people would like her better if she was more clearly versed in foreign policy but, overall, she rates just a bit below Obama in her ability to answer off the cuff questions (he being far more likely to gaffe and "um" a lot but generally a bit more familiar with the details).

Democrats see see Sara answering questions and, to them, she "looks like a deer in the headlights!!" She obviously didn't know anything about the Bush Doctrine. She was obviously out of her league. She was obviously this, that, and something even worse.

Can you say "bias confirmation?"

Having had this debate at some length with a liberal friend, I've resigned myself to 4 or 8 more years of painful cultural clashes, snide remarks, and ever more desperate attempts to convince me that this is the worst X years in the nation's history because the President doesn't have a "D" after his name (yes, I do think McCain is quite likely to win).

Man, you'd think you guys would have learned your lesson after the Reagan presidency.
9.13.2008 10:17am
pluribus:
matt b:

i see no inconsistency in being against earmarks and federal government spending while keeping the bridge to nowhere expenditure. in fact it is a fundament of her job to raise funds from the feds to support her state.

You are so right. I see no inconsistenty in being against earmarks and then taking them. People who criticize her for saying one thing and doing another overlook the fact that hypocrisy is the American (or at least Alaskan) way, and it's a sure ticket to one heartbeat away. Yeah Sarah!
9.13.2008 10:17am
Mondo (mail):
The fact that your average poster is insane should give this website some pause. It isn't the blog that has jumped the shark.
9.13.2008 10:20am
Matthew Friendly (mail):
Prof. Volokh:

Perhaps we should start limiting the contributing professors to blogging about the law and not to politics? They are beginning to embarrass themselves.
9.13.2008 10:22am
What's up with all the denial?:
Man, the commenter here are in such a denial. If someone like Palin were Obama's picks, the same commenters defending her would be slamming that candidate.

The spin is amazing.

Her response to the Bush Doctrine was not seeking clarification among competing views, it was a total unfamiliarity even with the concept.

Her comments about Fannie/Freddie were not comments reflecting a nuanced understanding of their implied federal backing; it was a total misunderstanding of the government's role prior to this week.

On the flipside, Palin's stance with respect to earmarks is not quite so tough. I can understand how one must play the game as the rules are written, but still object to the rules. However, the fact remains, Alaska asks for multiples more per capita than any other state to the point that thinking she was ever an "ear mark reformer" is beyond the pale. [As an aside, is there a conflict of interest with respect to her current constituency? I think I'd be pissed if I were an Alaskan and she saying that the pork has got to go even though that was not her position when she was running for governor.]

Moreover, since her state effectively subsidizes its own economy by plundering national tax revenues, it is also able to cut their taxes. As such, it is nearly impossible to give her any credit with respect to a fiscal responsibility platform since she's effectively balancing the budget by relying on other people's money--that won't work at the federal level except to draw upon national debt. Her time as mayor leaves even more doubt about this fact. The fact is she left her city (town?) with legal problems and bills and a huge deficit. It's clear, her experience cutting taxes is not applicable at the federal level.

Finally, as a fiscal conservative, the most shocking thing about her interview last night was her inability to answer a simple question about what she'd do to reform government. Her talk about "finding efficiencies in bureaucracies" is fine, but that's not really much of solution. Talking about the issues of medicare and social security as if cutting the fat in the agencies will fix it is naive at best and ludicrous at worst. A 100% efficient bureaucracy isn't going to solve the problems with either of those programs.
9.13.2008 10:23am
elektratig:
Um, Charles Krauthammer, who coined the phrase "The Bush Doctrine", agrees that it is ambiguous and that Palin's answer was perfectly sensible.

The good professor seems to be suffering from PDS.

Try here and here.
9.13.2008 10:26am
tgb1000 (mail):
Well, it's always fun to see what happens when a VC participant steps off the party line. "Money is fungible", I love that one.
9.13.2008 10:28am
Prosecutorial Indiscretion:
When I see political hackery on the VC, it at least usually has the decency to be informative and insightful hackery, regardless of which direction it goes. This post utterly fails to deliver even the shred of a justification for its waste of bandwidth.
9.13.2008 10:43am
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
I haven't seen the full interviews, so I can't comment on the substance (at least not yet), but I would like to question Russell's conclusion about the meaning of Gov. Palin's "lack of hesitation" when asked to be McCain's running mate. I know quite a few people who have accepted Presidential appointments. Quite a few have said to me that when the President called and asked them to serve they accepted on the spot without a second thought. Hubris? A lack of self-awareness? No. Rather the lack of hesitation comes from a belief in a duty to serve and a sense that one is obligated to step up in such situations.

What would interest me is not whether Gov. Palin had doubts or hesitation when she was asked, but whether -- once she had the opportunity to pause and reflect (which may not have yet occurred given the breakneck pace of the campaign) whether she had doubts about her ability to fulfill the obligations she assumed. This, to me, is the proper measure of whether she appreciates what she could be called upon to do, not whether she "blinked" when called upon to serve.

I don't know whether she addressed this in the Gibson interview, but given her statements about her faith, I would think she would have many doubts and have more humility about the task ahead of her than Russell suggests.

JHA
9.13.2008 10:44am
Thomasly (mail):
Pluribus, I think I didn't express myself as well as I hoped. I mean just that if one doesn't have a clue how to answer the questions then one isn't in any position to judge whether she answered them well (though I guess one could judge her answers as performance, as if one were a theater critic at a play).
9.13.2008 10:47am
fullerene:

Also I really don't see any contradiction between her keeping the money from the bridge to nowhere and being against earmarks in general. Do any of you refuse to take tax deductions because you believe the tax system would be better without them?


Not really an apt comparison. Remember, Palin used the bridge to nowhere example to prove that she, "championed earmark reform" (her exact words). There is absolutely no evidence that Palin has ever done such a thing. The only evidence she has ever cited is a terribly distorted version of this incident in which she ended up keeping the money. True, she may be against earmarks, but that is not what she has told us. No, she has told us that she has been actively working against them. The only evidence we have is squat.


Sarah Palin repeatedly objected to the endemic corruption in both Parties. She was disregarded by the good ol' boys running the state, who badly underestimated her. In response, Palin ran for her Party's nomination for Governor, against a sitting incumbent -- very much of an an uphill battle.

She won the nomination.


I have heard this line recited a number of times in the comments on this blog. Governor Murkowski is often presented as some sort of unbeatable political machine that, though corrupt, was nearly impossible to defeat. The truth is quite different. In the 2006 primary, Murkowski finished in third place behind Palin and another candidate. He only received 19% of the vote. Even had Palin not run, Murkowski likely would have lost to his other primary opponent, John Binkley. Yes, the same John Binkley that you have never, ever heard of.
9.13.2008 10:48am
Ben Franklin (mail):
The standards for who they will let blog on this site have fallen to a degree that it is almost worthless to visit anymore.

To take just one example I will mention the "Bush Doctrine" canard. This question did nothing but reveal the ignorance of the interviewer. The "Bush Doctrine" is not a policy of the US but a made-up term coined by the media to describe a whole range of activities and policies. Indeed, the gentleman who originated the term says it has no set meaning or at the very least has a whole range of meanings and that these have evolved over time.

So Russell here, in the throws of his PDS dementia, doesn't have the slightest idea what he is talking about but he still gets to have a blog entry because... well that is hard to know. Whatever his qualifications are they are obviously less than Palin's since he doesn't have a clue as to what he is talking about. My feeling is that the proprietors aren't minding the shop and have allowed the quality of the product to suffer as a consequence.

Palin did the only thing an intelligent person could do when asked such a question, she asked for clarification. Indeed, my formulation for the answer would have been "I am afraid I am not intelligent enough to answer a question that you aren't intelligent enough to ask." But then I am not a politician.

If it is true that BDS sufferers may have agreed upon a temporary meaning for the "Bush Doctrine" then all Palin did was declare herself free of that particular malady.

The stuff about Fannie and Freddie is equally insipid. They have both been quasi-federal institutions for a long, long time with a guarantee that the government would bail them out so that everyone can go around and make bad loans all over again. What has happened was inevitable whenever the government sets up institutions that are ostensibly for profit but are required to act in a political manner. The debts these "companies" have accrued have been a long time forming and the tax payer has been on the hook for them since the first dollar. It seems in this case that Palin has a much better grasp of the situation than Russell's mewlings indicate that he does. Just to put it in simple terms he can understand, a debt is incurred when you sign your mortgage documents, not when the first payment comes due. People who have executive experience understand this. Heck, people who have even the most basic understanding of their home budget understand this. I would also point Russell to any basic textbook on accounting where he can look up the "cash" vs. "accrual" methods of bookkeeeping.

Whatever Palin's weaknesses are, and I am sure she has many, they are certainly not any of the ones Russell has listed.

As a consumer of this blog for many years and only an occassional poster I would like to ask that the proprietors take a look at the quality of the product they have been putting out lately and take steps to improve it. If I wanted to read silly, hysterical stuff like this there is always the Dowd chick at the NY Times.
9.13.2008 10:54am
junglegym (mail):
Let's shift the perspective. Sarah Palin is running for Vice President so her intellectual heft should be compared to that of Joe Biden. Biden graduated from the University of Delaware just above the bottom quarter of his class with a double major, which he counted, during one of his several runs for the presidential nomination, as two degrees (tho the college gave him only one). At the Syracuse Law School he graduated just above the bottom tenth, while claiming in an earlier electoral campaign to have graduated in the top half of his law school class. And if we focus on honesty as a dimension of intellectual heft, recall that in his first year at Syracuse he turned in a fifteen page paper with five pages lifted from a law review article. When charged with plagiarism he threw himself on the mercy of the committee and was permitted to continue to graduation. That may be one reason that Syracuse ties for the bottom out of the 100 schools ranked in this year's USNews report.
9.13.2008 10:54am
FDA:
Re Palin accepting without hesitation, does anyone think that she did not know that she was under consideration and that she had previously thought about whether she would accept? Regardless of what the MSM says, she was being vetted and knew about it.
9.13.2008 10:56am
yarrrrr (mail):
She says she's against creating embryos for stem cell research, apparently not realizing that the bills supported by both Obama and McCain would allow federal funding only of research on embryos that are left over from fertilization clinics, not embryos created for research.


She's probably against IVF so her statements are about equivalent(or polar opposite) to how Obama talks and really feels about gay marriage...
9.13.2008 10:59am
What's up with all the denial?:
junglegym - so we're comparing intellectual hefty by looking at schools? Well, Ms. Palin attend 5 schools in 6 years and finally ends up getting a journalism degree from university of Idaho! She wins on number of schools, but loses on US News ranking.

Her grades have never been released; so let's call it a wash.

It's not clear she's ever been published. Despite the journalism degree she didn't work on any college paper, but was briefly a sportscaster after school. I'm not sure how to compare that. Edge probably goes to Palin since she never was caught plagiarizing.
9.13.2008 11:04am
FlimFlamSam:

No matter how much you might like or admire John McCain, given McCain's age and prior health issues, you should be very frightened about casting your vote for him.


The only thing that frightens me about McCain is that we might have to wait eight years for a Palin presidency.
9.13.2008 11:08am
mogden (mail):
Although I'm a lifelong Republican and voted for Bush the last time around, Palin scares me. She seems to have only superficial familiarity with the critical issues, combined with a gung-ho certainty. I find it really hard to believe that anyone could objectively look at her and find her qualified.

I'm most likely voting for Barr but Obama is not out of the question. I doubt I can vote for McCain now.
9.13.2008 11:32am
Sarah (mail) (www):
I call shenanigans on the "colleges I've never heard of" line. I wonder if the good professor is on the admissions committee at UCLA, and whether he would have voted Princeton in the top 10 law schools if asked.

Incidentally -- not a single adult in my immediate family, nor any of my good friends, managed to get all of their college credits from a single institution prior to obtaining a bachelor's degree. Neither did I (I suspect you have heard of the community colleges I got a handful of courses from, but only because I attended ones in southern California.) None of those people are idiots, few are intellectual "lightweights," whatever that's supposed to mean. Staying at one school is a signal of stability in one's home life, maybe, or a high level of focus at an early age -- in the same way that a 12-year perfect attendance award at high school graduation, or the kid who knew she was going to major in Chemistry after the second day of her 7th grade science class, signal those things. A lack of a stable home life or a lack of early focus (or both!) is hardly a disqualifying factor for the Presidency, let alone the Vice Presidency.

I also would like for everyone to remember what they said the last time there was a VC post about problems in law school ranking, or whether graduating from a top-ranked law school is indicative of long-term success, and the rest of it. Isn't the common viewpoint at VC that ranking systems are flawed, that "name recognition" is a major contributing factor to the general crumminess of said systems, that there's little correlation between attending a top tier school and becoming, e.g., a really good/well-paid lawyer?


There is also a secondary issue here -- McCain isn't in fact on death's door, and discounting assassination, less than 10% of our previous series of presidents have left the country in a position for the VP to be in charge. Given this, perhaps we might be better off asking if she'd make a good VP -- and since a VP's main job is to fill in gaps for the top of the ticket and help get the Presidential nominee elected, can we agree she's doing fabulously for her second week on the job? McCain's foreign policy credentials are not in question; what he needed is someone young, interesting, appealing to people who don't trust him, and with better business (NOT economic) credentials. Palin is like Romney, except that the overwhelming majority of Republicans like her, and she's also managed to completely derail the media and the Obama camp. As I judge VPs primarily in the sense of "did the Presidential nominee make a good choice," I think she gets an "A," and the interview doesn't hurt her.
9.13.2008 11:36am
subpatre (mail):
Russell Korobkin said "Worse, if you believe what she told Gibson about her lack of hesitation when McCain offered her the position, she doesn't even know it. "

What a crock. Based on the article below this, Russel, you shouldn't vote because you haven't payed attention to what really happened. Instead, you bought into a paralyzed-by-the-light media impression.

McCain interviewed Palin --and others-- in February-March. Are you suggesting that after the interview she --or the others-- didn't reflect and consider the full implications of Vice Presidency? Korobkin believes Palin and the other potential candidates suspended all thoughts about their own fitness and ability, about the job duties and obligations, until "the" phone call; making the crucial decision during the call itself. LOL

No, Palin had a lot of time to reflect and consider, to compare her own fitness against Biden amd Obama, long before McCain offered the spot. In turn, McCain appears (and I'm open to opposing cites) to have spent more time than Obama in researching and 'vetting' his own VP choice.

This article highlights Korobkin's own faulty conclusions (and in his defense, faulty MSM narratives) than any substance.


PS - This single subject points out that McCain's ideas of operational security or confidentiality far exceed both his opponents' (especially after Obama's 'big leak') and previous candidates from either party.
9.13.2008 11:37am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmmm.

If you were prepared to vote for Kerry/Edwards in 2004 then you have absolutely no basis to complain about Palin's level of experience.
9.13.2008 11:49am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
So, the GOP candidate as dumb theme is being used again. Well, I guess we should be glad that the alternative "evil" theory is not being use.

Every GOP candidate since Eisenhower has been considered dumb by the media and the intellectual class. True or not, it is the constant theme.

I guess we will have to be content with continuing our 9-5 winning percentage with our dumb candidates.
9.13.2008 11:49am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Russel, as did Jason in the myth after sowing the dragon's teeth, has thrown a stone into our midst :))
9.13.2008 11:52am
Nifonged:
subpatre beat my post by a couple minutes and made my point better than I did, so I won't repeat it.

I will reiterate that the professor's last paragraph may be the most sophomoric (literally, the first two sentences contain the logical conclusions of a high school sophomore) and insulting I've read on the VC. How much arrogance does it take to tell people how they need to vote or else they should feel very frightened?
9.13.2008 11:55am
pluribus:
Matthew Friendly:

Perhaps we should start limiting the contributing professors to blogging about the law and not to politics? They are beginning to embarrass themselves.

Exactly, only the limit should be on anyone who criticizes Sarah. There have been lots of ill-considered, ill-informed comments here supporting Sarah. And that's as it should be. They reinforce the pre-existing preejudices of most of the posters, which is just what most of the posters want. Criticism of Palin is another matter entirely. It does not reinforce those prejudices. It forces people to rethink their positions. It challenges facts and concepts. It is not acceptable.
9.13.2008 11:55am
pluribus:
Nifonged:

[T]he professor's last paragraph may be the most sophomoric (literally, the first two sentences contain the logical conclusions of a high school sophomore) and insulting I've read on the VC. How much arrogance does it take to tell people how they need to vote or else they should feel very frightened?

You are so clever, and at the same time so subtle. Condemning insults while at the same time hurling them. This is a very effective form of argumentation and will, I am sure, convince all the Palin critics to back down at once.
9.13.2008 12:00pm
Brian Macker (mail) (www):
All four major candidates for P and VP scare me. They scare me a whole hell of a lot.
9.13.2008 12:02pm
palefire1014 (mail):
Wow. Professor Korobkin, you must have really touched on something that really bothers these commenters. Commenters mostly are losing their minds in response to this post on one possible view of Palin's performance. Their over-the-top bravado and post-hoc rationalizing only seems to prove that they themselves are less than confident about Palin's abilities.

Where I do agree with some commenters is that the Obama campaign should not focus on Palin and instead have an extended debate on the "change" that McCain promises to deliver.

Let Palin bury herself with her own comments. It is inevitable, my Conspirators.
9.13.2008 12:07pm
Reinhold (mail):
Who cares if she was familiar with the "Bush Doctrine"? Are you saying she wasn't familiar with "preemptive war"? So now you must be familiar with a term coined by Krauthammer to be president?

Palefire: there's no way Palin's going to bury herself with her own comments. The media ensured she will have a dedicated following.
9.13.2008 12:11pm
Amused Guest:
Hm. I don't think that anyone thought that Nixon, Dole, or G.H.W. Bush were "dumb". They may not have been thinkers on the scale of Locke or Hegel, but then again, who is? Nixon is arguably the most intelligent president of the second half of the 20th century; too bad about that crippling paranoia. Goldwater may have been thought crazy, but certainly not an idiot. Ford probably did get a bum rap, but he certainly didn't help his own cause.

That pretty much leaves Reagan--who, on the one hand, was probably smarter than his detractors will admit, but, on the other hand, liked to take naps during cabinet meetings--and G.W. Bush, who has pretty clearly proven himself to be a first-class moron.
9.13.2008 12:12pm
08 voter:
This post is right-on. I agree with the comment that a lot of the commentators here are in denial. Even if you don't find her positions troubling, her capacity to reason and think through and answer complicated issues (or lack thereof) is.
9.13.2008 12:13pm
boondocks:
Korobkin, I'm pretty sure I can make you look like an intellectual lightweight in the same situation. Want to take me up on the challenge?
9.13.2008 12:15pm
palefire1014 (mail):
08 Voter:

It just ain't a river in Egypt.

Reinhold:

I just don't know if conservative paranoia about liberal media bias is going to do it in an environment where most of the prominent radio hosts are conservative (Prager, Limbaugh, Savage, etc.) and the country has been run by conservatives for the last eight years, with Fox News as its media outlet.

And what if Palin messes up in her interview with Hannity? Liberal media bias?
9.13.2008 12:17pm
Nifonged:
"You are so clever, and at the same time so subtle. Condemning insults while at the same time hurling them"

Mine was actually on-point, and quite charitable. Read his last paragraph again.

How stupid (or to be more charitiable, ignorant of the political process) does anyone have to be to write the first two sentences of his last paragraph and think it actually makes a logical conclusion?

I'm not trying to convince anyone to vote for anybody, but if the claim is I'm trying to show that "academics" aren't always intellectual gods with unfailing logic and ultimate wisdom that can't be questioned: guilty as charged. And until the "intellectual elitism" aspect of this election season goes away (which it won't), I'll continue to make those arguments as long as I'm given ample ammunition, which does't appear to be in short supply.
9.13.2008 12:21pm
Brian P:
Russel,

To what degree to you consider yourself an unbiased observer of the interview? What would you guess the probability is that, if we imagine, she had given a stunningly impressive interview, that you would have been persuaded that she was _not_ an intellectual light-weight? How open were you to being persuaded?

These type of op-eds are pointless, from both sides. The bias is so pervasive it is impossible for any fair observer to believe anyone is giving a "un-biased" or even minimally biased account. Just link the damn interview - your opinion of it is worthless, just as would be the opinion of a Republican supporter.
9.13.2008 12:29pm
Software Cowboy (mail):
I have to admit that I don't think she's ready to sit in the oval office today, but were you concerned about John Edwards in 2004? He had less experience in every measurable way than Sarah Palin. Moreover, as a politician he was a complete failure and wouldn't have won re-election in his own state as a Senator. I don't seem to recall a lot of concern on the part of Democrats or the media in 2004 on that.

I think it is worthwhile to examine the fact that Sarah Palin has an 80% approval rating in Alaska after two years as governor. During that time, she's been active and pushed a number of initiatives that included broad bi-partisan support. I am completely unaware of any other politician who can claim any similar record. That is a substantial accomplishment, yet her critics continue to completely overlook it. I think it does speak to a level competence in governing that is far better than normal.

The fundamental fact is that nothing truly prepares someone to be President. Some of the people who appeared to be the least qualified turned out to be very good, and many with what appeared to be excellent qualifications turned out to be rather poor. The one thing we do know is that governors tend to do better than most.

I, for one, would love to see real thoughtful discussion and less talking points. Looks like this site is going down the internet toilet too. Sad, really.
9.13.2008 12:29pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Mr. Korobkin,

Are you an intellectual heavyweight? If so, what makes you a heavyweight?

I rather doubt you are a heavyweight since you said, "She doesn't appear to notice any inconsistency between her claim that she said "thanks, but no thanks" regarding the bridge to nowhere and the fact that she kept the money. And, of course, the list could go on and on."

She declined to spend taxpayer money on a wasteful project, and instead has chosen to use the money for a variety of projects which actually enhance the transportation infrastructure of the state. This really isn't hard to understand. Even intellectual heavyweights should be able to grasp it.

Do law professors wear lipstick?
9.13.2008 12:30pm
Franklin Drackman:
So Senator Obama, Can you tell me what the Vitamin K dependant Blood Clotting Factors are? I can't believe an Ivy League Graduate wouldn't have that on the tip of his tongue.
9.13.2008 12:36pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
Our comments are hardly mean-spirited or outraged. Most people here are quite ecumenical, but we expect arguments to be logically consistent and backed up with firm evidence. Acknowledging and responding to flaws in your own arguments also goes a long way with the kind of people who frequent this blog.

This argument is not clearly constructed, contains evidence that appears to be false, and contains at least two rather nasty ad-hominem attacks. Basically, this post is sophisticated way of saying Palin is a hillbilly.

As for Prof. Korobkin's remarks about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac what can I say? It is as if he insists 5+5=11. What response can be made to such an assertion?
9.13.2008 12:43pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
"H'aint we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?"

Palin would be relieved were she to took a gander at this here thread; Huck's never been proved more right.
9.13.2008 12:44pm
Aldi (mail):
No matter how much you might like or admire John McCain, given McCain's age and prior health issues, you should be very frightened about casting your vote for him.

There's really no other way to put this: I don't agree with Obama's ideology. I do agree with McCain's, more or less. I'll take the risk that an "inexperienced" Palin may end up President too soon over the risk that a White House full of Obama supporters will represent from day one.

Everything else is just talking points.
9.13.2008 12:45pm
SenatorX (mail):
She appears not to understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not (or at least until this week were not) funded by the federal government

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE knows FRE and FNM are backed by the government no matter what quasi BS spin Hank and the crew say. Why else would they have gotten away mixing GSE debt with Junk and calling it a AAA security all these years? The value of the GSE debt was precisely that everyone knew the government was backing those "private" institutions. We might as well debate the FED being private.
9.13.2008 12:48pm
pluribus:
palefire1014:

Commenters mostly are losing their minds in response to this post on one possible view of Palin's performance. Their over-the-top bravado and post-hoc rationalizing only seems to prove that they themselves are less than confident about Palin's abilities.

OK, OK, you have a point. But what else is there to justify Palin's candidacy but over-the-top bravado and post-hoc rationalizing? I mean, in July she said she didn't know what the vice president does on a daily basis and in August she didn't hesitate when she was asked to become vice president. She is a quick study, and good at snap decisions. I admit it's kind of dangerous for the country, what with McCain's age and health problems. I can't defend her with logic or reasoning, so bravado and rationalizing will have to do.
9.13.2008 12:51pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
pluribus:

Is it possible that all she was doing in July interview was throwing reporter off the track that she might be a pick?
Isn't that one of the most prized attributes in the selection process: you show no inidcation of wanting the job?
9.13.2008 12:55pm
John_R:
This is simply a sophomoric non sequitur.

"Worse, if you believe what she told Gibson about her lack of hesitation when McCain offered her the position, she doesn't even know it."

Precisely how does her lack of hesitation imply an unawareness that she is going into a tough situation?

When a fireman or policeman doesn't hesitate to go into danger do you think that means they don't know it is a bad situation?
9.13.2008 1:01pm
pluribus:
Elliot123:

She declined to spend taxpayer money on a wasteful project, and instead has chosen to use the money for a variety of projects which actually enhance the transportation infrastructure of the state.

I agree fully. It's one thing to say no to an earmark. It's another entirely to refuse to take the money. If she had actually turned the money back, it would be honest for her to claim she said "thanks, but no thanks." But that would have cost her votes. Better to take the money and then make the claim. When in doubt, always choose the hypocritical route, it is much more likely to get you votes.

Do law professors wear lipstick?

Some undoubtedly do. The truth is a lot of colleges these days have women on the faculty. It's a bad trend, and I don't approve at all, but I suppose we will have to learn to live with it.
9.13.2008 1:03pm
K. Dackson (mail):
pluribus:

Did you (or anyone else, for that matter) ever consider the context of her questioning what the VP does on a daily basis? Ignorance of the position is only one possbility.

You you be more charitable if she said: "I don't know what substantive role the VP would play in a McCain administration."?

Certainly matches the ambition of the woman. I mean if McCain wanted a quiet, behind the scenes VP, wouldn't that be a demotion from the govenor's position?
9.13.2008 1:08pm
pluribus:
Johnny Canuck:

Is it possible that all she was doing in July interview was throwing reporter off the track that she might be a pick?
Isn't that one of the most prized attributes in the selection process: you show no inidcation of wanting the job?

Exactly, and claiming that you don't even know what the duties are will further throw them off the track. Throwing reporters off the track is a good thing, particularly when you are doing an interview that is being videotaped. I hope that if Sarah is elected she will use all her efforts to throw reporters off the track all the time. Otherwise, people might actually get to know what she thinks and what she is planning to do, and that would be a bad thing.
9.13.2008 1:09pm
frankcross (mail):
Goodness. I think Russell is wrong, on the substance I agree with all the commenters. But that kind of sickens me. The commenters are an astoundingly closed minded, disrespectful bunch. Who apparently want to live in a closed minded echo chamber.

In fact, the nature of the responses suggests a considerable insecurity about Palin. They read like whistling past the graveyard. If the commenters merely thought him wrong, they wouldn't feel the need to protest so much, I don't think.
9.13.2008 1:13pm
dkfjdlfj (mail):
Korobkin, if I remember correctly, Palin called freddie and fannie quasi-gov. Your collegue Steven Nelson has said that it's always been understood that if freddie and fannie got into trouble, the fed gov would bail them out. Are you saying given that, they still can't be considered quasi-governmental?

You sound like an overcritical jerk in this piece.
9.13.2008 1:14pm
pluribus:
K. Dackson):

Did you (or anyone else, for that matter) ever consider the context of her questioning what the VP does on a daily basis? Ignorance of the position is only one possbility.

No, but I see your point. There could be other explanations. Mendacity, for example. Maybe she actually knew all about it but decided to say she didn't just to confuse the reporter. Now that is really clever, and only increases my admiration of her.

You you be more charitable if she said: "I don't know what substantive role the VP would play in a McCain administration."?

Absolutely. I believe form always trumps substance. If she had said the same thing but used bigger words to say it, I would be much more charitable--and must more admiring. (Well, no, it is really not possible for me to be more admiring than I already am.)

I mean if McCain wanted a quiet, behind the scenes VP, wouldn't that be a demotion from the govenor's position?

Now you are confusing me. A demotion? Never, never, I say. That hockey mom deserves a promotion every year and a half at least.
9.13.2008 1:18pm
HipposGoBerserk (mail):
I haven't read much of the Palin postings - too much partisan vitriol; too little of merit.

Here's my Palin problem (which may cost McCain my vote): honesty.

The "thanks but no thanks" line is clearly dishonest. She sought earmarks, supported that one while it was viable, and kept the cash. What does it say about the ticket that they trade their souls for a good punchline? Equally troubling is the petty way she went after Wooten - at best she deserves blame for not taking a stand against all rogue cops, just the one who happened to be in a custody fight with her sister. The worst is abuse of power in the worst way. Given concerns about her honesty raised by "the bridge" I'm left waiting for some corroberation of the claims that he threatened her family before I can give her the benefit of the doubt here. Together, I don't see her as trustworthy, and therefore doesn't qualify for major office.

As an aside, the experience debate is just that, an aside. The chance that she'll be as left out of the loop and in office the way Truman was is negligible. That said, John Stewart's contrasting of Rove's comments on Gov. Kane and Gov. Palin fairly highlighted the rights' ridiculous arguments on the point.

And, to be honest, it sticks in my craw to consider voting for some one who's quick to start asking librarians about censoring what's in the public library.

HGB
9.13.2008 1:20pm
therut:
I'm from Arkansas and the same could be said about Bill Clinton. As a matter of fact it was. I feel sorry for people who actually forget what campaigns are ---smoke and mirrors on both sides. What about Jimmie Carter? Remember he was painted as a nuclear scientist which he was not. I love propaganda but I do not believe any of it. Call me cynical.
9.13.2008 1:21pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
Why does Korobkin not respond?
9.13.2008 1:21pm
marcystrauss (mail):
to me, sarah palin clearly did not know what was meant by the Bush doctrine in any respects. After asking, in what respects, her answer was not something like, well, to the extent it means spreading democracy, ...or to the extent it means preemptive strikes, I believe....No, she gave some vapid answer about fighting terrorism. That's a foreign police--we fight terrorists(when we aren't going to war with russia). Come on. She may be running for VP, but its behind a man who is 72 years old who has has several bouts of cancer. Her answers were ridiculous and light weight----on abortion, her answer was essentially "can't we all just get along." And people mentioning Obama's comment about the number of states--give me a break. It was obviously a misstatement, some credit has to be provided to the fact this man was editor in chief at harvard law review. McCain has has plenty of more serious misstatements (ie, confusion about unni and shia--remember that?). I'm not talking slip of tongue with Palin; i'm talking about no serious knowledge or thinking about the issues. This is not an indictment of a person-she may be a great person; its an indictment of someone running for VP. This is a person running on reform and ethics; she is under an ethics investigation and lied about the bridge to nowhere and earmarks (or substantially misrepresented the truth).
9.13.2008 1:23pm
pluribus:
dkfjdlfj:

Korobkin, you sound like an overcritical jerk in this piece.

Right on. I really dislike overcritical jerks. Jerks are fine. There are a lot of them on this very board. But overcritical jerks suck.
9.13.2008 1:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Governor Palin gave no reason at all for anyone to buy what you're trying so desperately to sell here. She deftly avoided Gibson's attempted "gotcha," and as has been repeatedly pointed out throughout this silly DailyKos talking-points discussion, there are dozens to hundreds of different versions of the uncodified 'Bush doctrine' -- just as there were numerous variations of different Clinton doctrines [eg: Wag the Dog, etc.]
This is silly. Gibson's question was ignorant, and based on the mistaken premise that there was one definition of the Bush Doctrine. Palin's answer was not a deft evasion of this problem; she didn't know what the phrase referred to. If she had, she'd have said, "Well, if by the Bush Doctrine you mean X, then I think Y, but other people use the term to refer to something else." Instead, she looked blank and then tried to fit one of the talking points into the question.
9.13.2008 1:30pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Can anyone tell us what the duties of a VP are other than presiding over the Senate? Would Biden and Palen have the same duties? What are they?
9.13.2008 1:30pm
Jerry F:
I take it Korobkin reads this blog about as often as he writes something useful on it, because all of his points have been thoroughly debunked on this blog (certainly in the comments and in some cases by the bloggers themselves) as soon as left-wing hacks started making them.
9.13.2008 1:31pm
marcystrauss (mail):
sarah--maybe lots of people you know went to different colleges--but 5 different ones? I wouldn't necessarily hold that against them, but it raises questions in my mind. It may indicate a difficult home situation (ie, unsupportive parents), but her parents were teachers. We don't know what it indicates, but its a rebuttable minus in my mind. If that fact was on the resume of someone I was interviewing, i would for certain question him/her about it. So the question becomes, has her subsequent achievements quelled any questions about her intellect/intellectual curiosity? I certainly don't think so. NO doubt she ambitious and politically savvy, but i see no indication that she is intellectually curious. AT ALL. And the comment that most presidents live out their term--how many were 72 years old when elected???thats a ridiculous commet. also, mccain set the standard--he'd pick someone ready from day one.
9.13.2008 1:32pm
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
"Why does Korobkin not respond?"

If you have to ask, you'll never know.

Props to Frank Cross.
9.13.2008 1:33pm
pluribus:
Franklin Drackman:

So Senator Obama, Can you tell me what the Vitamin K dependant Blood Clotting Factors are? I can't believe an Ivy League Graduate wouldn't have that on the tip of his tongue.

Great analogy. If a presidential or vice presidential candidate isn't qualified as a biochemist or physiologist, then we have no right to expect that they be qualified on foreign affairs.
9.13.2008 1:34pm
marcystrauss (mail):
oops, sorry about the typos, i can't type well when i get upset
9.13.2008 1:34pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
Korobkin has no understanding of the Bush Doctrine, or of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or he would not have written such idiotic criticisms. It was Gibson who misstated the Bush Doctrine. Palin's comments on both subjects were entirely reasonable.
9.13.2008 1:36pm
pluribus:
Elliot123:

Can anyone tell us what the duties of a VP are other than presiding over the Senate? Would Biden and Palen have the same duties? What are they?

That's what Sarah would like to know.
9.13.2008 1:36pm
CJS (mail):
This post is an example of the advisability of taking a few deep breaths and thinking things through rather than putting fingers to keyboard when one is emotionally agitated. That and confirmation bias.
9.13.2008 1:37pm
Swede:
Yeah, I want the other guy to be in charge of the 57 United States.

Him and his "muslim faith" will help us all be less God and gun clingy.

Although, as his faithful minions point out, Jesus was a community organizer, too.

And that awful Pontius Palin was a governor! We don't want that, do we?

A vote for Obama is a vote for Jesus!

And who wouldn't vote for Jesus?

Lefties, teh new christianists!
9.13.2008 1:39pm
Anderson (mail):
Sarah Palin apparently has never heard the phrase "Bush Doctrine." Sure, the phrase has several potential meanings, but she doesn't seem to be familiar with any of them.

Exactly.

Obviously, the poster doesn't have the selective intelligence to be a VC regular.

"Selective intelligence": selecting which candidates not to be intelligent about.
9.13.2008 1:48pm
pluribus:
marcystrauss:

And the comment that most presidents live out their term--how many were 72 years old when elected???

OK, I'll grant you that point. It is true that he would be the oldest man ever elected president. It is true that he has suffered some episodes of cancer. And it is also true that, at his present age, his dad was dead (of natural causes). But it is not polite to point that out. I mean when you go into a room full of people, it is not good etiquette to point out the oldest person in the room. Makes them feel uncomfortable, and makes you look like a jerk. Besides, if McCain doesn't make it all the way through his term, we will have a young and good looking president. The fact that she doesn't seem to have a grasp on the duties of the vice presidency and that her statements on earmarks reveal a troubling level of hypocrisy shouldn't detract from the obvious fact that she is young and wears really good looking glasses.
9.13.2008 1:48pm
Sagar (mail):
Is VC proactively (or pre-emptively) practicing the "Fairness Doctrine" by giving equal time to people like Russell and the other prof (David Post?) who swore he would never write about Palin again after his first ludicrous post?

There is nothing wrong in criticizing Palin, but please use a bit of logic - there is plenty of fodder (to pick on any of the 4 people running)
9.13.2008 1:49pm
Zabodaih (mail):
For me, the problem isn't her yet so far intellectual display...it's some of the answers she so confidently gives. We can trust her on Russia because you can see Russia from Alaskan shores? To paraphrase other bloggers, you can trust me on the shuttle because I can see the moon from my roof?

Irrespective of her politics, she is bringing intellectual discourse to a new low (I'm not counting the crappy press treatment she is getting). The only two in this race who can speak with some intellect and depth on the issues are McCain and Biden, and those two are getting the least amount of attention right now.
9.13.2008 1:57pm
Crafty Hunter (www):
When the Presidential ticket of Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain (name order deliberately selected) wins the popular vote by a narrow margin (perhaps as much as by three points) *and* the Electoral College by at least twenty-four points, I plan to gloat unmercifully for the next twelve years (one term for Mr. McCain and two terms for Ms. Palin).

The Libertarians will never win, so I might as well enjoy the schadenfreude against the Party of Dumbocrats.
9.13.2008 1:59pm
LN (mail):
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

_______________

Of course, I have no idea how anyone could get the idea that Sarah Palin is in way over her head, that's just ridiculous crazy talk. Shame on you, Russell Korkobin, shame on you.
9.13.2008 2:02pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
LN: doesn't that fall under "Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer"? What the hell kind of question is it? It makes no sense.
9.13.2008 2:16pm
David Warner:
Prof. Korobkin,

"She's in way over her head. Worse, if you believe what she told Gibson about her lack of hesitation when McCain offered her the position, she doesn't even know it."

She's been on the short list for months. Wouldn't she have had time for contemplation then?

I think you make a very plausible case for her lack of prior engagement with national issues. If true, as Prof. Somin argues, she shares this approach with most Americans, including many of significant accomplishment and influence.

On the other hand, on issues within her prior professional domain, she's shown the capacity not only to act with integrity to put the interests of her constituents over party or convenience, but also to find novel approaches in serving those constituents that didn't fit neatly into the familiar D/R, pro/anti-business box.

I think Obama philosophically wanted to do the same, but shows little of the courage necessary to accomplish it. I'm unconvinced that the courage Palin had shown on the state level would not translate to the national. Her instincts seem sound. She can hire the philosophers.
9.13.2008 2:20pm
LN (mail):
Right David -- why was Charlie Gibson bringing up Alaska's proximity to Russia? Surely anyone with half a brain knows that that's basically irrelevant?

The preceding line of the transcript:

PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That's why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

And, Charlie, you're in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They're very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

____________

So you see, Palin was the person who brought up Alaska and the fact that Russia is her next door neighbor.

Not that this was entirely off the cuff; Cindy McCain told George Stephanopoulos, in response to the statement that Palin had no national security experience, that:

"You know, the experience that she comes from is what she's done in government, and remember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. It's not as if she doesn't understand what's at stake here."

But you're right, this is incredibly moronic and stupid. Shame on you, Russell Korkobin, shame on you!
9.13.2008 2:26pm
marcystrauss (mail):
we should vote for sarah because the alaskans like her??? thats ludicrous. Most people in their first year would be popular--there's a honeymoon going on. especially if the governor is head of a state with oil money thats running a surplus. whats not to like? and that translates into a good head of the country...how?
9.13.2008 2:26pm
rarango (mail):
Judging from most of the comments, mine included, it appears that the majority of commenters minds are made up and arent going to easily changed. I propose a solution to damping down the partisanship. Its those damn undecideds--let us collectively resolve to hunt them down, beat them senseless until they commit, get on with the election, and as someone once said: just move on.
9.13.2008 2:30pm
byomtov (mail):
doesn't that fall under "Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer"? What the hell kind of question is it? It makes no sense.

Normally it wouldn't make sense, but you're ignoring the background. We've heard repeatedly that Palin has expertise in foreign policy because Alaska is near Russia.

Given that claim the question makes sense.

Asking a mechanic, "What insight into the Korean situation does working on Hyundais give you?" is a stupid question. But if the mechanic has repeatedly told you that working on Hyundais has provided him considerable insight into Korea then it's fair.
9.13.2008 2:33pm
Michael B (mail):
To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen: Korobkin, you're no pitbull.

Steven Hayward, some commentary that actually does add some notable depth and breadth to the discussion. Excerpt, emphases added:

In his reply to Adams, Jefferson expressed more confidence that political virtue and capacity for government were not the special province of a recognized aristocratic class, but that aristoi (natural aristocrats) could be found among citizens of all kinds: "It would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society." Jefferson, moreover, trusted ordinary citizens to recognize political virtue in their fellow citizens: "Leave to the citizens the free election and separation of the aristoi from the pseudo aristoi, of the wheat from the chaff. In general they will elect the really good and wise."

Today's establishment doubts this. The establishment is affronted by the idea that an ordinary hockey mom--a mere citizen--might be just as capable of running the country as a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations. This closed-shop attitude is exactly what both Jefferson and Adams set themselves against; they wanted a republic where talent and public spirit would find easy access to the establishment.

h/t Power Line
9.13.2008 2:38pm
Lady on the Left:
Wow, one perfectly reasonable yet not favorable Palin post sure sends this blog over the edge.

Look. Experience, intelligence and policy positions are all good reasons to vote for (or against) a candidate, and I think most intelligent voters take all of these issues into account. In the end I think most people vote for the candidate whose policy positions most closely match their own, and hope that person is also experienced and intelligent. In a two-party system, it's rare for a voter to find a candidate who embodies all of the qualities that they hope for, so many voters are willing to forgive a little inexperience or lack of intellectual depth if the candidate supports policies that the voter also supports.

I know that Obama isn't the most experienced presidential candidate (McCain is), but I'm voting for him anyway because I agree with his policy positions much more than I agree with McCain's (and way, way more than I agree with Sarah Palin's). That's the same reason why I voted for Kerry/Edwards in '04 even though, as some have pointed out, Edwards was not very experienced (although Kerry very much was). I'm willing to admit that, although I'd prefer a candidate to be experienced and intelligent in addition to supporting my policy preferences, I'll support a less-experienced candidate who mirrors my views over a more experienced candidate who doesn't. I'll also admit that, particularly in the case of '04, my votes are often not so much for someone as against someone, because I loathe GWB.

I think many of the commenters here are voting for McCain/Palin for these same reasons: you all agree with McCain's and Palin's policy positions and strongly disagree with Obama's. And that's fine. But please, please stop spending so much time and energy insisting that Sarah Palin has the experience and intellectual depth to be vice-president, and possibly president. She does not. There are many, many Republicans who are more qualified, if not as photogenic. You can vote for her because you like her policy, because you hate Obama, because you figure the VP doesn't do much anyway. But you can't seriously defend her credentials or that interview, and the righteous indignation is just getting silly.

The difference is I'm not going to go around
9.13.2008 2:44pm
psychdoc (mail):
Re: 'the Bush Doctrine,' this is not a term used by Republicans except perhaps by Krauthamer as the name for a set in discussion. It strikes me as a 'mouse trap' question. In the first instance, if she is unsure of the meaning, she is derided as an ignoramus like Bush was for not knowing who the president of Pakistan was (thus Gibson was carrying out the reporter's 'talking points against Bush doctrine'). If she fluently rolls into a discussion, then she has demonstrated that McCain-Palin = Bush III. A minor odd thing about this question is 'Bush doctrine'? Are you saying that guy, previously known as 'ignoramus,' has a doctrine which we acknowledge? I'd maybe believe 'Cheney Rove doctrine?'
9.13.2008 2:46pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
"It strikes me as a 'mouse trap' question."

That's generous. It strikes me as a "Have you stopped smoking crack yet?" question. Poorly thought out and very unfair. Palin responded very reasonably and refused to take the bait.
9.13.2008 2:57pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Sarah Palin has an 80% approval rating in Alaska after two years as governor


As far as I can tell, the last survey in this regard was done on 7/25/08. Yes, it showed her approval rating at 80%. But that was not "after two years as governor." She became governor on 12/4/06, so the interval is 1.6 years, not two. A bit of an exaggeration on your part.

More importantly, Palin fired Monegan on 7/11/08. It wasn't until 7/18 that Monegan stated publicly that he thought his dismissal was related to the Wooten matter. In subsequent weeks a bunch of other shoes dropped. It's likely that Troopergate has done some damage to her approval ratings, and most of this damage occurred subsequent to the last time her approval was measured.

It's probably a good idea to keep this in mind before you get too carried away regarding "80%."
9.13.2008 2:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Given concerns about her honesty raised by "the bridge" I'm left waiting for some corroberation of the claims that he threatened her family before I can give her the benefit of the doubt here


It's already sufficiently clear that Palin lied about Troopergate. That's documented here.

As far as "the claims that he threatened her family," that's also a pile of baloney. There are really two separate allegations: a death threat against her father, and a general threat against her family.

As far as the death threat against the father, the evidence is quite weak. Wooten was in the house with Molly. Sarah and Track were listening over a phone line. Then Sarah went over to the house, but stayed outside and left after fifteen minutes because she had a meeting to attend. No one told the father about the threat until a month later. No one told the police about the threat until two months later.

When asked to explain this delay, Sarah Palin said "it was because Wooten had no reason to shoot her father."

When Col. Grimes wrote a letter suspending Wooten, she didn't even mention the death threat (even though she mentioned minor infractions like a failure to use turn signals). It seems that Palin didn't take the threat seriously, so neither did Grimes (even though an earlier Memorandum of Findings issued by Sgt. Wall had treated the death-threat allegation as "sustained").

The evidence of a general threat against the family is even weaker. No one aside from Molly ever witnessed such a threat. And Molly and Sarah both admitted the threat was political, rather than physical. Sarah Palin described that threat to police as follows:

… as MOLLY had explained. "I'm gonna take your sister down … I'm gonna ruin your family … I know people in all the right places, in high places. I know judges. I know attorney's. I have relationships with these guys. You guys are all going down."


Palin's claims against Wooten are packed with distortions. That was true in 2005, and it's true now. For example, Palin and the McCain campaign have recently issued statements on this matter, and they mention a restraining order that was issued against Wooten. But they don't bother mentioning that it was granted presumptively, and then quickly dissolved because of an absence of evidence.

Aside from tasering the kid (in demo mode), and hunting the moose and a wolf, there was never any finding that Wooten ever committed a violent act against anyone, anywhere, at any time (and there was also never a finding that he ever drove drunk). But the current official narrative is that he was a violent threat against Governor Palin. That claim is bogus, just like her 'bridge' claim.
9.13.2008 2:58pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
And the comment that most presidents live out their term--how many were 72 years old when elected?


A list of presidents by age is here.

10 of our 43 presidents were over 60 on the day they took office:

Reagan 69 (just under 70)
Harrison 68
Buchanan 65
GHW Bush 64
Taylor 64
Eisenhower 62
Ford 61
Jackson 61
Adams 61
Truman 60

By historical standards, McCain's age is definitely high. This a good reason to give Palin a more careful assessment than we usually give a VP pick.

Although Roberta is doing great at 96, McCain's father died at age 70. His paternal grandfather died at age 61.
9.13.2008 2:59pm
CJS (mail):
Perhaps people should review the unedited transcript of the interview, as opposed to going with what was on TV, before making their final evaluations...

Courtesy of Glenn Reynolds, this story gives a link to an unedited transcript from the first day's interview:

Hopefully the unedited transcripts for the other days will also become available.
9.13.2008 2:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska


I can actually see the sun, moon and stars from my back yard. I hope you all realize that this makes me an expert on astronomy.
9.13.2008 2:59pm
Mr. Bingley (www):
I'm sorry; in all this excitement I've forgotten what the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://hnn.us/articles/1849.html">"F" in Fanni Mae and Fannie Mac</a> stands for.
9.13.2008 2:59pm
Mr. Bingley (www):
I've also forgotten how to code, evidently.

Ah, the perils of flustered-ness!
9.13.2008 3:01pm
CJS (mail):
I have more problems posting links on this site...

Here it is again
9.13.2008 3:01pm
pluribus:
Michael B:

Jefferson expressed more confidence that political virtue and capacity for government were not the special province of a recognized aristocratic class, but that aristoi (natural aristocrats) could be found among citizens of all kinds.

True, but he was kind of glad he had inherited several plantations and enough slaves to do his constant bidding. Gave him lots of time to read his Morocco-bound books, sip French wine, and ruminate about the virtues of the common man.

The establishment is affronted by the idea that an ordinary hockey mom--a mere citizen--might be just as capable of running the country as a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

So true. I really like hockey moms, especially those who admit they don't know the duties of the vice presidency but would like to be vice president anyway. But wouldn't we be just a tad better off with a man whose is heir to a distinguished military dynasty, whose father and grandfather were admirals, whose went to Annapolis cause that's where his daddy and granddaddy went (though he didn't get good grades), who has been in Washington for nigh on thirty years, whose wife is worth a hundred million or so, and who has so many houses he can't give an accurate count? I'm all in favor of hockey moms, but you gotta admire a man who was born into an influential family, married wealth, and has been a long-time member of the establishment.
9.13.2008 3:02pm
LN (mail):
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Have you stopped smoking crack?
Have you stopped abusing children?
Have you stopped eating babies?
What do you think of the Bush doctrine?
9.13.2008 3:02pm
CJS (mail):
W/r/t age, I'd be interested in the ages of the Presidents as a fraction of the average life expectancy at the times when they each took office.
9.13.2008 3:03pm
w3bgrrl (mail):
Freddie and Fannie don't cost the taxpayers anything unless they fail. These public/private hybrids are, of course, highly regulated and have thorough oversight so the risk of something as drastic as, say, a federal government takeover is something that only a fool would be concerned with.

Private corporations get similar tax breaks and incentives as Fannie and Freddie. All it means is that, since the fed can only spend what it takes in, that the size of government is greatly reduced when otherwise taxable business is given a break. When is the last time you ever heard of the federal government "borrowing" money to pay for entitlements it cannot afford with current tax revenue?

/SARCASM
9.13.2008 3:04pm
L. (mail):
2+2=5

2+2=5!

Yes. I can do this.
9.13.2008 3:06pm
Suzy (mail):
I take it Korobkin's argument goes like this:
The VP should not be an intellectual lightweight, and Palin is a lightweight so she should not be VP.

Almost all of the comments thus far have focused on refuting Korobkin's reasons for believing Palin is a lightweight. A few undertake the riskier approach that the VP can be a lightweight with no problem. But apart from a few extremely generous interpretations of her responses to Gibson as intellectually shrewd, I've seen almost no attempt to show that she's not a lightweight because she actually has good ideas, or has spoken knowledgeably about... anything. If Palin really is an impressive candidate, it should not be difficult to explain what's so good about her. What DOES she know that could qualify her to make good judgments about foreign policy? What evidence do we have of her wise judgments?
9.13.2008 3:08pm
LN (mail):
Domestic Policy
She said THANKS BUT NO THANKS to the Bridge to Nowhere!
(But still campaigned for the Bridge to Nowhere, took the money from Congress, and built a road to nowhere before canceling the project.)

Foreign Policy
She can see Russia from an island in her home state.

So it's not much experience, but she's definitely shown talent and public spirit. Jefferson and Adams would be very proud.
9.13.2008 3:10pm
Dales (mail) (www):
I am not sure from where your condescension comes, Russell, but it does you no justice.

I am fairly confident in my own intellectualism, and am a political junkie. Yet, if someone asked me about the Bush Doctrine, I would likely have asked a similar return question-- by what do you mean? It is a term that has no specific definition.

Trying to attribute a lack of intellectual capability to one who refused to guess what Charlie Gibson meant by his question belies a certain lack of intellectual seriousness of your own, Russell. I am not sure why you feel that you are in a position to be condescending to Governor Palin, and you might rethink your approach accordingly.
9.13.2008 3:11pm
pluribus:
LN:

Have you stopped beating your wife?
Have you stopped smoking crack?
Have you stopped abusing children?
Have you stopped eating babies?
What do you think of the Bush doctrine?

Great analogies. All of these questions are relevant to American foreign policy. (Well, not all of them--actually only the last one.) But all of them give insights into the duties of a president of the United States. (Well, not all of them--actually only the last one.) All of them relate to serious criminal activities, for which a yes answer would be incriminating. (Well, not all of them--actually all except the last one.) All of them assume facts not proven. (Well, not all of them--actually all except the last one.) You have a steel-trap for a mind, LN. I'm so glad you are on Sarah's side and not against her!
9.13.2008 3:12pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
W/r/t age, I'd be interested in the ages of the Presidents as a fraction of the average life expectancy at the times when they each took office.


You are correct to point out that life expectancies are higher than they used to be. But I think McCain still stands out on a list of presidential ages, even after you correct for that fact.

And if you're making a list of important factors to take into account, there's his history as a torture victim and cancer survivor.
9.13.2008 3:12pm
pluribus:
LN, I think I may have misjudged which side you are on. If so, mea culpa. I thought sarcasm was not always a sure guide to the truth. Now I'm not so sure.
9.13.2008 3:16pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
@Suzy:

Lightweights generally don't rise out of obscurity to defeat the party establishment, beat a former governor in the general election, become one of the most popular governors in the country, and then make it on to the Republican ticket for president. It is possible that an airhead might pull it off, but highly unlikely. If Palin was an unimpressive candidate with poor judgement she probably would not have made it this far.
9.13.2008 3:18pm
pluribus:
Maybe I have misjudged which side I am on. If so, I will issue a correction.
9.13.2008 3:19pm
marcystrauss (mail):
suzy-- i agree with you. Let's put aside the bush doctrine for a minute. What were her ideas?. Cutting waste? come on. Give us five things that make you believe she is intellectually rigorous-that she is smart, listens to people's opinions and is capable of challenging them and seeing nuances, and making a reasoned judgment.
9.13.2008 3:22pm
Bad English:
"No matter how much you might like or admire John McCain, given McCain's age and prior health issues, you should be very frightened about casting your vote for him."

Matt Damon is posting here?
9.13.2008 3:23pm
FedkatheConvict:
Here's the first part of Sarah Palin's interview with Charles Gibson. Judge for yourself what ABC chose to leave on the cutting floor:

Its interesting to me that neither the professor nor those who support his opinion have commented on Gibson's ignorance of the Lincoln quote.
9.13.2008 3:24pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
One good thing about this post: I no longer wonder why the VC felt it necessary to please ask commenters to refrain from rants and invective.

The "Bush Doctrine" question was entirely fair in the context of an interview. Perhaps few commenters here have ever been on a job interview. Employers often ask prospective employees questions that they have no pat answers for, just to see how the job candidates think. Do they bluff an answer? Do they answer a different question? Do they freeze like a deer in the headlights? Or do they say what they think the question refers to and ask for confirmation? The answer to such a question reveals much about the interviewee. So it did here.

I am not thrilled with the Palin choice. I wish that McCain had picked Mitt Romney, whose character was revealed in the rough and tumble of the primary campaign. While apparently a reformer, Palin has distinct character flaws. She prevaricated about rejecting the Gravina Island bridge. During the campaign, she assured the people of Ketchikan she was behind it. Then she rejected the bridge while keeping the earmark money. She did not dispel the impression she left the nation that she rejected the federal money. Second, she used the power of her office to try to dig up dirt (personnel and workers compensation records) on her sister's ex-husband, so she could get him fired. This followed her family's attempt to get him fired from the State Troopers by digging up as much dirt as possible, to see if enough would stick. This included Sarah's father turning in Wooten for humanely dispatching a wolf that Sarah's father had shot and wounded. The offense alleged was that Wooten had been hunting from a snowmobile, while he actually used it to chase down the wounded wolf. The final straw for me was Palin's charging the state of Alaska $60 a day to live in her own house.

I fear that partisanship has blinded so many good people to their candidate's obvious flaws.
9.13.2008 3:24pm
marcystrauss (mail):
so jerome, she's not a lightweight because she beat someone in an election and was popular. in other words, she's not a lightweight because she got votes. Let's add in her victory as a beauty queen then, thats a voting contest. Shouldn't that be an argument on your side.
9.13.2008 3:27pm
SenatorX (mail):
The joy of being a woman in politics. If you show any weakness you are clearly unqualified and should be home with your babies where you belong. If you are confident and bold it must be a cover for your ignorance, and that's dangerous!

Attacking Palin for appearing overly confident is dumb. She and every other woman in politics have no choice in that matter. It would be like expecting Hillary to be soft on war. No chance in hell of that happening because for a woman it is political death.

The attacks on Palin regarding her being a woman or her not being intellectually elite enough are backfiring bigtime. No everyone thinks our rulers should always be the groomed children of the elites. Most of us are rather sick of it really.

Last, her intelligence deficits pale in comparison to the failure of the entire leftist ideology. Why would you not be more afraid of that intellectual dishonestly and the damage it will do?
9.13.2008 3:28pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Mr, Korobkin,

It's so unfair that people of lesser intellect are allowed advancement over their more deserving intellectual betters, people such as Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was quoted as saying of FDR: "A second class intellect but a first class temperment".

It is also dreadfully unfair for someone of your distinguished accomplishments to be anticipated by, and mugged by, rude nasty reality.

In the form of Steven F. Hayward's column in the Weekly Standard which just happened to come out on-line today:

"Give 'em Hell, Sarah
Like Truman, a natural-born executive.

Lurking just below the surface of the second-guessing about Sarah Palin's fitness to be president is the serious question of whether we still believe in the American people's capacity for self-government, what we mean when we affirm that all American citizens are equal, and whether we tacitly believe there are distinct classes of citizens and that American government at the highest levels is an elite occupation.

It is incomplete to view the controversy over Palin's suitability for high office just in ideological or cultural terms, as most of the commentary has done. Doubts about Palin have come not just from the left but from across the political spectrum, some of them from conservatives like David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will. Nor is this a new question. To the contrary, Palin's ascent revives issues and arguments about self-government that raged at the time of the American founding and before. Indeed, the basic problems of the few and the many, and the sources of wisdom and virtue in politics, stretch back to antiquity.

American political thought since its earliest days has been ambiguous or conflicted about the existence and character of a "natural aristocracy" of governing talent. If the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams are watching the storm over Palin, they must surely be revisiting their famous dialogue about America's governing class. Adams's widely misunderstood argument that there should perhaps be an explicit recognition and provision for an aristocratic class finds its reprise in the snobbery that greeted Palin's arrival on the scene. It's not just that she didn't go to Harvard; she's never been on Meet the Press; she hasn't participated in Aspen Institute seminars or attended the World Economic Forum. She hasn't been brought into the slipstream of the establishment by which we unofficially certify our highest leaders.

The issue is not whether the establishment would let such a person as Palin cross the bar into the certified political class, but whether regular citizens of this republic have the skill and ability to control the levers of government without having first joined the certified political class. But this begs an even more troublesome question: If we implicitly think uncertified citizens are unfit for the highest offices, why do we trust those same citizens to select our highest officers through free elections?

..."
9.13.2008 3:29pm
DonK (mail):
She's in way over her head. Worse, if you believe what she told Gibson about her lack of hesitation when McCain offered her the position, she doesn't even know it. No matter how much you might like or admire John McCain, given McCain's age and prior health issues, you should be very frightened about casting your vote for him.

And so we should elect a first-term senator who has done nothing but run for President since being elected, who largely spent his time in the Illinois Senate voting "present?"

Be real. Sarah Palin has flaws, but she won't be the boss. Obama's lack of experience at doing much of anything is coming to the fore -- and I'm supposed to trust HIM?
9.13.2008 3:30pm
JEN:
Who the hell are you and where do you get off making a snarky claim like that? She's a lightweight? Gibson was not asking her to expound on the Bush doctrine or policy reasons; he was asking what her positions were. The so-called lack of "intellectual heft" is kind of hard to figure out when you're not being asked to expound on X or Y and you're being asked about your positions on X or Y.

And, better yet, so what if she holds a position different than some form of federal legislation? She made clear her policy positions may not line up with her personal positions, so it's awfully tough to say she's inconsistent on those grounds. But, to this professor, it is, and here's an example of his vapid reasoning on "inconsistency":

She says she's against creating embryos for stem cell research, apparently not realizing that the bills supported by both Obama and McCain would allow federal funding only of research on embryos that are left over from fertilization clinics, not embryos created for research.

How is that inconsistent? Answer: it's not. She was asked her personal position on whether embryos should be used for stem cell research and not her position on the scope of federal funding for such research. She's clearly not for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and that bill establishes that as federal law (if it passed, which is not clear here but one suspects it did), so she's in line with its tenor. She wasn't asked if the federal government should ban private embryonic stem cell research (I'm not sure they could). Notably, she wasn't asked about existing stem cell lines nor was she asked about that bill nor was she asked about private funding for such research, so for this author to find an inconsistency here is simply a figment of his ego.

Here's another canard:

She claims government spending can be substantially reduced merely by finding "efficiencies" in entitlements.

(Italic added.) This is a blatant misstatement from this interview. Palin made clear that she and McCain would seek these "efficiencies" across the board and not just in Medicare or Social Security. She made clear it would fall to the Cabinet members and then to those underneath them. It wasn't a "merely" aimed at a single program (Gibson honed in on that aspect in particular), it was a comprehensive approach. This professor ought to be ashamed for not paying attention and simply channeling Charlie Gibson instead of recounting what the interviewee actually said.

Law professors need to remember not every question is an essay question. Some questions are "Yes or no" or multiple choice. Gibson wasn't asking for essays and to conclude she's a lightweight based on her answers is far beyond the breadth of that interview. So, the grading here stinks. And all the comments above this one calling the author out are well-deserved.

And, frankly, the tone of this posting leads me to believe this poster either a) never liked Palin in the first place and isn't disposed to giving her a fair hearing and/or b) just regurgitated some talking points. I have no problem with a good take down of the interview that explores the answers (some of which I was less than thrilled with), but this author wrote nothing more than a hit piece.

One reason I read the VC is to avoid this kind of mindless, poorly reasoning pap. If I want a post like this I'll go to Daily Kos or FreeRepublic.
9.13.2008 3:33pm
David Warner:
Leftlady:

"But please, please stop spending so much time and energy insisting that Sarah Palin has the experience and intellectual depth to be vice-president, and possibly president. She does not."

We're not, nor are we required to. We're arguing for the defense. The burden of proof is on the accuser to prove that she's unqualified, not on us to prove she is. Pending further evidence, your case remains unconvincing but intermittently compelling.
9.13.2008 3:34pm
Bad English:
"She wins on number of schools, but loses on US News ranking."


DING DING DING! Ranking candidates according to USNWR officially bottoms out the thread!
9.13.2008 3:34pm
Jerome Cole (mail) (www):
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Have you stopped smoking crack?
Have you stopped abusing children?
Have you stopped eating babies?
What do you think of the Bush doctrine?


I'm still smoking a gram a day, I employ thousands of children who work mining uranium, babies are best glazed with honey and stuffed with arugula, and the Bush Doctrine is AWESOME. It would be even more awesome if it were expanded to include nuking stuff at random for the pleasure. I just wanna see the world burn!

Prof. Korobkin is Hitler! I forfeit this thread.
9.13.2008 3:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
if someone asked me about the Bush Doctrine, I would likely have asked a similar return question-- by what do you mean? It is a term that has no specific definition.


The problem is that she didn't say something like this: 'I've heard people use that term a number of different ways, so I wonder what definition you have in mind.'

The answer she gave seemed to indicate that she had simply never heard anyone use that term. This seemed to be evident not just in the words she said, but also in her tone, her body language, and her facial expression.

What this tells me is that she's just not interested in foreign policy, and has paid little attention to it, and knows little about it. Nevertheless, she's willing to speak about it with great decisiveness. In other words, she's Bush with a skirt.
9.13.2008 3:37pm
Commocean:
Mr. Korobkin,

I also don't pay much attention to newspapers. (Haven't bought one in a decade. I think you're stuck in the past.) Instead I feel that the information on selected blogs (I might have to deselect this one, though.) is superior. In all seriousness I think your mistakes here stem from reading newspapers too much. Newspapers hire reporters based on style, not on knowledge, ability to understand or explain complex information.

Do you lack "intellectual heft" because you use ad hominem arguments and weren't able to define the "Bush Doctrine"? What articles like this do is not encourage informative debate but hate.

I will agree with you that her experience is a little thin being not much more than Obama's. Still, she has a chance to grow into it. How much time will Obama have?
9.13.2008 3:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
If Palin was an unimpressive candidate with poor judgement she probably would not have made it this far.


Unfortunately, the GOP has a distinct track record of elevating "unimpressive candidate[s] with poor judgement." Exhibit A: George W. Bush.
9.13.2008 3:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Its interesting to me that neither the professor nor those who support his opinion have commented on Gibson's ignorance of the Lincoln quote.


"Gibson's ignorance" will become a matter of great interest to me when he becomes a candidate for high office.
9.13.2008 3:37pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
If you are confident and bold it must be a cover for your ignorance, and that's dangerous!


A person can be confident because they have earned the right to be confident. Or they can feign confidence as a cover for their ignorance. With Palin we seem to have the latter.

No everyone thinks our rulers should always be the groomed children of the elites.


When you apply that reasoning to the Obama/McCain choice, then Obama clearly comes out ahead.
9.13.2008 3:37pm
A.W. (mail):
Russel

Oh my, so let me get this straight... you think you can read her mind. Gotcha.

And we should be frightened of her on the bottom of the ticket. But we should hunky dory with Noobius Maximus on the top of the dem ticket.

I mean if hesitation is proof of a lack of knowledge, then Obama is dumb as a rock (it isn't, but its irritating that he can't just answer the frickin' question).

What does suggest he is dumb as a rock is when he says the UN's Security Counsel should settle things between Russia and Georgia, when Russia has a veto on the same body. I mean seriously, that is foreign policy 101. Its like not know the process my which American laws are passed.

She was asked about a concept, the "Bush Doctrine" that had no clear meaning. She responded by saying "in what respect" which is a perfectly appropriate response to being asked a vague question.

And nothing she said about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac suggested she didn't know exactly what they were. That is pure hallucination.

And finally, to discount the experience of a governor is just plain silly. Being governor is virtually the same job as President, and the only difference is one of scale. It is a job in the administrative branch and gives her the chance to learn how to execute the laws, and to prove how well she can do the same. And so far, she has done extremely well.

By comparison, a legislator is required to be able to write and read laws, to shoot off his mouth and to vote. There is no reason to think a man who does that well is ready to be president.

To be blunt, this post was nothing more than an expression of one's prejudices about her. Whether they were partisan or what I don't know, but you cannot possibly draw a fair conclusion from the "evidence" you cite.
9.13.2008 3:39pm
Lib:
Recently I'd stopped coming over here to Daily Kos as often. Although the quality of Daily Kos posts tends to be based on facts (albeit, conveniently omitting important facts that don't support the meme), I just couldn't stomach the lack of logic and facts in the comments left by the hoi polloi.

Imagine my surprise and joy when I happened upon this Daily Kos post and found that it was the comments that were thoughtful, factual, and logical rather than the original post (which was not).

Perhaps I'll now come by more often to read the comments.

Oh, wait... sorry, got my FF tabs mixed up -- never mind... I just realized this is only a Daily Korobkin post.

(Hopefully this formally thoughtful blog will return to regularly scheduled programming shortly after November 4th.)
9.13.2008 3:41pm
Michael B (mail):
pluribus,

Thomas Jefferson's imperfections are well known and not to be merely dismissed. But he comes with some pluses of note.

Most American voters are aware of that fact.
9.13.2008 3:48pm
pluribus:
Jerome Cole:

If Palin was an unimpressive candidate with poor judgement she probably would not have made it this far.

So true. Spiro Angew had great judgment,and he made it to the vice-presidency. Dan Quayle was one of the greatest vice presidents in memory, and he served a full four years in the office. The GOP has always picked vice presidential candidates with superb qualifications. OK, so Angew did wind up copping a plea to bribery, and he did have to resign in disgrace, but who could have known that when he was picked? And, yes, Quayle did bomb out when he ran for the presidential nomination. People (some Republicans even) questioned his preesidential gravitas, and nobody--I mean nobody--supported him. But it wasn't Angew's fault or Quayle's either. They were victims of the system. Sarah Palin may not know much about the duties of the vice presidency, and maybe she's not exactly coming clean about the troopergate thing (subpoenas are out, I hear), and maybe she is stretching the truth on that bridge to nowhere, taking the money while claiming she didn't, but the woman wears lipstick, and Alaska has an island from which you can actually see another Russian island. So I say go Sarah!
9.13.2008 3:55pm
Michael B (mail):
Stasi tactics from Camp Obama, excerpt:

"... and how revealing about the "liberal" conscience -- but what it also shows is that the chattering classes have understood that this election might just call a halt to the agenda of social and moral nihilism that masquerades as progressive politics. Hence the weeping and wailing and rending of garments, in between firing the poisoned darts at Sarah Palin, on both sides of the Atlantic."

Indeed. As if Gorbachev's perestroika is finally reaching into the accretions and recesses of the parasitic "liberal," the pseudo-liberal long march - and revealing it for what it is. The baby needs to be distinguished from the bath water but beyond that caution some (genuine and substantive) hope and change has a real chance.

(And that's true even if Biden is forced to step aside - as has now been yet more loudly whispered - and allow Hillary to take his place. In fact though, Hillary would likely have a better chance in 2012 at the top spot than a chance to revive Obama's bemusing and at times even laughable candidacy presently.)
9.13.2008 3:59pm
Nifonged:
"This is simply a sophomoric non sequitur. "

Three people (myself included) get this point.

When you start a post with a remark that someone is an "intellectual lightweight," that raises the bar just a bit concerning the analysis of the rest of the post (and the related arguments).

Is the good prof an intellecutal welterweight, an intellectual bantamweight, an intellectual middleweight, an intellectual heavyweight, or something else? That's not a rhetorical question, I really want to know how Prof. Korobkin views himself vis a vis the electorate. Is he ballsy enough to post his Standford transcript, his LSAT, his MBE score?
9.13.2008 4:03pm
pluribus:
Michael B:

Thomas Jefferson's imperfections are well known and not to be merely dismissed. But he comes with some pluses of note. Most American voters are aware of that fact.

You're kidding. Most American voters know about Thomas Jefferson? I'm shocked—shocked, I tell you. And next you are going to tell us that they also know that he inherited great wealth, kept hundreds of slaves, lived in luxury, and spent every nickel he inherited years before he died, leaving a mountain of debts. (The nickels he spent were Jefferson nickels, of course.) Thanks so much for sharing your insights with us.
9.13.2008 4:04pm
Silly:

but she's still an intellectual lightweight


Is that based on the "it takes one to know one" school of thought? Because for someone who's supposed to be a law professor, you certainly seem quite incapable of making a case against her based on anything except your own bias and invective.

See you in November!
9.13.2008 4:09pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
Don't discourage Prof. Korobkin. He is helping to elect John McCain.
9.13.2008 4:11pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
So, we're once again presented with a "stupid" conservative in over her(his) head" who is proceeding to run rings around the smart people.

You'd think that after Reagan and Bush, people would begin to wonder if their definition of "smart" doesn't have some flaws.
9.13.2008 4:15pm
Fat Man (mail) (www):
Russell Korobkin is still an intellectual lightweight. He probably doesn't know how to field dress a moose.

Every intellectual should get up every morning, look in the mirror and repeat the following: "Life is not an IQ test."
9.13.2008 4:28pm
c.j. ammenheuser:
As for that "Bridge to Nowhere, Thanks but no thanks"... Palin made the correct decision and built roads instead.

The US and the EU will rebuild Georgia's infrastructure to stabilize Georgia and the region; the US is rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure to build it's economy; Africa wants the US and World Bank to build its infrastructure to build the economy... why is Alaska different?

As governor, Palin made an executive decision for a state that supplies 20% of energy supplies to the lower 48. The production and transportation of oil and gas in Alaska is vital to the economy of the state and to the entire country. A functioning system of roads and airports are necessary if Alaska wants to maintain, and expand production and delivery.

I don't understand the nonsense. Do Gibson, Pelosi and the environmentalists want vegetarian huskies to be the core element of Alaska's infrastructure?
9.13.2008 4:37pm
Dales (mail) (www):
"You Can Put Lipstick on a Pit Bull

but she's still an intellectual lightweight. Sarah Palin apparently has never heard the phrase "Bush Doctrine." Sure, the phrase has several potential meanings, but she doesn't seem to be familiar with any of them"

What would one say about this exchange?

Question: "What are the central differences, and what are the elements of continuity, if any exist, between 'the Bush doctrine' and the 'grand strategy of forging a world of liberty under law'? "

Reply: "Tell me what you mean by 'The Bush Doctrine'. "

The question here actually is more specific than the one Gibson posed. Did the reply indicate a lack of intellectual capacity?

No. Hat tip to Cliff May on the Corner for this one. That is the precise (one might even say "exact words") answer that Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, gave.

I saw, with apologies for forgetting precisely where and by who, a comment made that Gov. Palin has become a Rorschach for everyone. If Russell here is indicative, then that is probably true.

Either way, it does not speak well for Russell's intellectualism.
9.13.2008 4:38pm
Dales (mail) (www):
Rorschach test, that is.
9.13.2008 4:39pm
Bpbatista (mail):
Who is this clown and how did he get to post on this blog?
9.13.2008 4:40pm
Chester White (mail):

Gibson: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Palin: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

Gibson: Huh? I-- I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!

[He is thrown to his death]

Republican Party: How do know so much about swallows?

Palin: Well, you have to know these things when you're a VP candidate, you know.
9.13.2008 4:42pm
Dales (mail) (www):
Is the good prof an intellecutal welterweight, an intellectual bantamweight, an intellectual middleweight, an intellectual heavyweight, or something else? That's not a rhetorical question, I really want to know how Prof. Korobkin views himself vis a vis the electorate. Is he ballsy enough to post his Standford transcript, his LSAT, his MBE score?

We can use what we have. We have his argument, which we can assume he thought was a good one since he decided to publish it for all to see.

Was it a good argument? Was it crafted with the requisite attention to logic? Was supporting evidence provided, and woven into the argument in an elegant fashion? Was it persuasive?

Or, alternately, was it the sort of argument that one could hear from a high-school dropout?
9.13.2008 4:48pm
Bpbatista (mail):
At least she didn't say "that's above my pay grade"!
9.13.2008 4:52pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
What does suggest he is dumb as a rock is when he says the UN's Security Counsel [sic] should settle things between Russia and Georgia, when Russia has a veto on the same body. I mean seriously, that is foreign policy 101. Its like not know the process my which American laws are passed.

Do you realize that both Obama and McCain said this? and The Daily Show had the footage to prove it.

"Not everyone thinks our rulers should always be the groomed children of the elites."


I have never been able to understand how McCain, the son and grandson of admirals is not part of the elite, even ignoring his $100 Million wife, but Obama is somehow. Is elitist just a synonym for "uppity"? If elitist is bad why isn't inheriting/marrying your elite status worse?

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was quoted as saying of FDR: "A second class intellect but a first class temperment".

McCain seems to have a second class intellect, what of his temperment?
9.13.2008 5:05pm
Bdog (mail):
Can some one please tell me what Obama's foreign policy experience is?

A committe chair in senate foreign relations committee, for which he never called a meeting.

A speach in front of (I don't believe this figure but anyway) 200K Germans.

Travelling at his own and at tax payer expense.

A clear willingness to blame America first. A greater concern for terrorist's rights than US citizens?

Obama and a Democratic congress is what scares the hell out of me.

Oh, and lets not forget: Obama is the the third largest recipient of Fannie Mai and Freddie Mac political campaign contribution funds.

And for one previous commenter: Money is fungible, you idiot.
9.13.2008 5:07pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Bdog: As you say:

Money is fungible, you idiot.

Because money is fungible, and because Palin told the American people she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the money for the bridge to nowhere, she can still send the equivalent amount of money back to Washington, purging her of all nasty accusations of hypocrisy and setting a genuine example of reform. I'm sure, given her overwhelming support in Alaska, no one will object.
9.13.2008 5:21pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

[Obama] Travelling at his own and at tax payer expense.

I don't understand the point of this accusation. Is it to point out that McCain used to ride on Charles Keating's jet, and now rides around on his wife's Beerjet?
9.13.2008 5:30pm
SenatorX (mail):
Does elite intellectual status trump ideology?

How intellectual are you if you follow leftist ideology? It seems this type would either be using the ideology as a con or they would just be ignorant. To me a leftist intellectual always presents that disconnect. If I give them the credit of being intelligent I have to assume they are deceptive powermongers.

Russell though seems happy to choose intellectual elite status over ideology. Perhaps he is a follower of moral relativism? If there was no right or wrong then he could just base his decision on character traits. The contributors to this blog tend to be libertarian-ish though. A choice against Palin for possible weaknesses of intellect is a vote for Obama with in your face weaknesses of ideology.
9.13.2008 5:30pm
TCO:
I thought she handled herself well. Especially in an intgerview that was much more adversarial, even "oral examish" than the other candidates get.
9.13.2008 5:31pm
TCO:
Oh...and I have a 1580 SAT. 20 years in the military. Waste way too many hours reading blogs and newspapers. And I couldn't recall what the hell the Bush Doctrine was.
9.13.2008 5:33pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Right David -- why was Charlie Gibson bringing up Alaska's proximity to Russia? Surely anyone with half a brain knows that that's basically irrelevant?

The preceding line of the transcript:

[...]
And, Charlie, you're in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They're very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

So you see, Palin was the person who brought up Alaska and the fact that Russia is her next door neighbor.
I didn't say it's "irrelevant," and nothing in her quote has anything to do with what Gibson asked her. She said that it was important to have good relations with our neighbors. Gibson asked her an entirely different question, which was what "insight into Russian actions" it gave her. Stupid question, and unrelated to what she said.
9.13.2008 5:34pm
Asher (mail):
Her claim about efficiencies was pretty lame...but I'd be a wee bit more upset if Obama hadn't claimed the exact same thing.

That's a good point. Palin's an idiot, but both candidates are pretty full of it on the budget.
9.13.2008 5:38pm
Nifonged:
"Is it to point out that McCain used to ride on Charles Keating's jet, and now rides around on his wife's Beerjet?"

Weren't you the one who decried "partisanship?"

Wait, you're also the same person who claimed "The final straw for me was Palin's charging the state of Alaska $60 a day to live in her own house?"

Because of course, living in a governor's mansion with a host of staff and other expenses costs less than $60/per diem.

You can't make this up. Jeez, I never thought the last straw for anyone would be an issue with a maximum expense of under $25,000. This is getting beyond parody.
9.13.2008 5:39pm
metro1 (mail) (www):
TCO:

The problem isn't with you (or Gov. Palin) - the problem is with Charlie Gibson's dishonest question - and Charlie Gibson's misunderstanding of "The Bush Doctrine."

See, e.g., Charles Krauthammer's discussion of The Bush Doctrine:

* * *

Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today.

* * *

I [Charles Krauthammer] suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to Congress nine days later, Bush declared: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror — first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan — became the essence of the Bush doctrine.

Until Iraq. A year later, when the Iraq War was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of pre-emptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.

It's not. It's the third in a series and was superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of Bush foreign policy and the one that most distinctively defines it: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

* * *

For additional background, see here: "Some scholars have identified as many as seven "Bush Doctrines..."
9.13.2008 5:48pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Batter up

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?


If she had an idea what the Bush doctrine was, she would have answered; if she was aware there were several alternatives she would either list them or ask which one. But the ball wasn't clearly over the plate

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view.


vague response, but possible. Ball two

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.


vague response that is not responsive to what Gibson wanted, but if you think "world view" is what Bush doctrine means, maybe. Ball three

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?
PALIN: I agree that a president's job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.
I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.



Finally Gibson has the ball over the plate, question is specific answer is pretty non-responsive. Leads to conclusion that she really wasn't knowledgable about the concepts of premptive war, or preventive war. called strike

GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.


Another chance, she opts for the (more sensible in my view) pre Bush Doctrine opinion. Again no awareness of the change from preemptive -- like when Israel knew Egypt was going to attack, they didn't have to wait for the first blow-- to the Bush concept - if US thinks any country may at any time in the future develop the weapons and delivery systems to strike us then we can start a war now.
Obviously she hasn't been briefed; otherwise she would have adopted McCain's policy on this issue. She's out (you don't get three strikes in this game)
9.13.2008 5:51pm
LM (mail):
Thank God I finally reached Frank Cross' comment. Now that I know someone has said what needs to be said, and much better than I'm about to, I can get this off my chest and clear out of here before I catch the 24 hour cancer that seems to be spreading through this thread. Commenter Matthew Friendly said, "Perhaps we should start limiting the contributing professors to blogging about the law and not to politics? They are beginning to embarrass themselves." He's almost right. People are embarrassing themselves here, but it's not the bloggers, pro-McCain or pro-Obama.

I don't want to paint with too broad a brush, because many, maybe even most of the comments are strong but argument-directed. The rest, though.... The best I can say about them is they're no more or less disgraceful than what you see at Kos or Huffpost when someone argues their other side. I'd think people here would aim higher. I hesitate to say it, but this is the most vitriolic, disrespectful thread I've seen here in months, and this has been a pretty vitriolic, disrespectful season.

[For the record, I'm voting for Obama, and my take on Sarah Palin is about half-way between Profs. Korobkin and Cross. I think she performed poorly in the interviews, but I'm not prepared to say it's disqualifying, since we've still seen very little of her, and she has some obvious talents.]
9.13.2008 5:55pm
LM (mail):
Richard Aubrey:

Prof K.'s post is astonishing.
Who on earth would believe that at this point?
Who on earth would believe Prof K. believes it?
The best answer is he lost a bet made while in wine.

That's right Richard, because when someone disagrees with you, he must be a liar. If you have even the tiniest shred of evidence that Prof. Korobkin doesn't believe everything he said, please produce it. I'll check the thread later when hopefully the smell of burning flesh will have lifted a bit.
9.13.2008 5:58pm
Nifonged:
"I hesitate to say it, but this is the most vitriolic, disrespectful thread I've seen here in months, and this has been a pretty vitriolic, disrespectful season."

And your arguments for this are what? Your rationale? Your reasoning?

If it isn't too much for you to digest, things aren't the way they are because you say it is.

If you have a point say it, you won't offend anybody by using your brush, refraining to do so at risk of "painting too large a brush" is a cowardly cop-out.
9.13.2008 6:00pm
Asher (mail):
Johnny Canuck's post is very on-point. The Bush Doctrine means a lot of things, but Palin had clearly never heard of the term. Otherwise she wouldn't have ventured "his worldview." It isn't a personal worldview, it's an official government position taken by the administration in a series of documents. In any event, I thought her responses to just about any question were equally troubling. Like the "we should never second-guess Israel" mantra (they're not allowed to do absolutely anything, are they?), or the magic efficiencies that we're going to find in every agency, or when she said that, whatever the causes of global warming, what matters is that we do something about it (if we're not causing it, there's nothing we can do), or her saying that tax cuts would be one of the three economic policy moves that would be different under a McCain administration (is she not even aware that Bush cut taxes?), or the bit about how living near Russia has taught her that the world is small and that we must never risk another Cold War, or the crackpot explanation of the bridge, or just her inability to speak good English.
9.13.2008 6:02pm
DiversityHire:
Gotta disagree LM, Professor Korobkin's post is an ad hominem attack on Governor Palin. He's saying she's dumb and shallow based on a television interview. Makes him look bad.

That said, I'm totally in favor of littering the VC with Palin posts even if they're like this one. Like the posters above said she's a rorschach test, the abyss that peers back.
9.13.2008 6:05pm
Michael B (mail):
From News Busters, ABC News Edited Out Key Parts of Sarah Palin Interview.

It provides the unedited version of the interview (the edited version being the one reflecting "intellectual heft," within the Korobkin lexicon), including bolded text that distinguishes those aspects of the exchange that were left on the cutting room floor.

On a related note, former Clinton advisor Mark Penn, Media Tougher On Palin, excerpt, emphasis added:

CBSNews.com: So you think the media is being uniquely tough on Palin now?

Mark Penn: Well, I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they're not doing on the other candidates. And that's going to subject them to people concluding that they're giving her a tougher time. Now, the media defense would be, "Yeah, we looked at these other candidates who have been in public life at an earlier time."

What happened here very clearly is that the controversy over Palin led to 37 million Americans tuning into a vice-presidential speech, something that is unprecedented, because they wanted to see for themselves. This is an election in which the voters are going to decide for themselves. The media has lost credibility with them.

h/t Solomonia and No Left Turns
9.13.2008 6:12pm
c.j. ammenheuser:
Compare the questions.


(From the Hillary Clinton Forum.net):

OBAMA INTERVIEW:

How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?
How does it feel to "win"?
How does your family feel about your "winning" breaking a glass ceiling?
Who will be your VP?
Should you choose Hillary Clinton as VP?
Will you accept public finance?
What issues is your campaign about?
Will you visit Iraq?
Will you debate McCain at a town hall?
What did you think of your competitor's [Clinton] speech?

PALIN INTERVIEW:
Do you have enough qualifications for the job you're seeking? Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?
Aren't you conceited to be seeking this high level job?
Questions about foreign policy
-territorial integrity of Georgia
-allowing Georgia and Ukraine to be members of NATO
-NATO treaty
-Iranian nuclear threat
-what to do if Israel attacks Iran
-Al Qaeda motivations
-the Bush Doctrine
-attacking terrorists harbored by Pakistan
Is America fighting a holy war? [misquoted Palin]
9.13.2008 6:12pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"While apparently a reformer, Palin has distinct character flaws. She prevaricated about rejecting the Gravina Island bridge."

After the details of the bridge were revealed, both Obama and Biden had the chance to redirect the bridge money to Katrina relief, both voted to keep it for the bridge. They had the chance to kill it and didn't. What does that say about their characters?

McCain stood up and voted to kill the bridge and send the money to Katrina relief. What does that say about his character?

Does anyone know if Obama and Biden still support building the Bridge to Nowhere? Have they said? We know Palin and McCain don't. If Obama and Biden are now against the bridge, were they for it before they were against it?
9.13.2008 6:18pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
She appears not to understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not (or at least until this week were not) funded by the federal government.

For years they were (quasi) government agencies. Their debt was always subject to a flaky government guarantee. I think it's safe to call being on the hook for $Trillions to be "funding".
9.13.2008 6:24pm
Smokey:
Asher:
Johnny Canuck's post is very on-point.
On what point, exactly? If Asher had bothered to try and comprehend it, he would see that the Canuck is simply arguing/parsing/nitpicking every word she said.

Governor Palin can not say anything, anything at all, without liberals nitpicking every word. No matter what she says, the libs will complain that she said it wrong. But in fact, if Palin was a Democrat, her shoes would be soaking wet to the ankles from the very same liberal lickspittles.

Libs are just frustrated and desperate because a proven winner is on the other side -- and that McCain's candidate for VP is constantly being compared with their candidate for president! Every day that comparison eats away at Obama's support by undecided voters.

By now it's clear to everyone that the real comparison is between Governor Palin, a very classy woman, and Barry Obama -- who wouldn't know class if it bit him on the ankle.

Just look at these two short film clips, and try to tell the rest of us that the inexperienced empty suit, Mr. 'community organizer,' isn't deliberately giving the finger to a fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton. How Democrat women can be apologists for this insulting loser is beyond understanding.

No wonder this thread has about the same 80% approval rating of Sarah Palin as her own state does. Only liberal Kool Ade drinkers would blindly support the odious vermin who gives the finger to a female candidate.
9.13.2008 6:48pm
AKD:
Interesting to see that ABC very liberally (pun intended) edited the interview:

http://marklevinshow.com/gibson-interview/
9.13.2008 6:55pm
LM (mail):
Nifonged:

If you have a point say it, you won't offend anybody by using your brush, refraining to do so at risk of "painting too large a brush" is a cowardly cop-out.

I already said it. This is the most vitriolic, disrespectful thread I've seen here in months. That's obviously an opinion, not an argument meant to convince anyone. Agree or don't. I don't expect to change any minds.

Just out of curiosity, are you disputing that the thread is vitriolic and disrespectful, or just that I haven't seen worse? Because if it's the latter, while I doubt you'd have a basis for knowing, you could be right. That it's the worst is just my impression here and now. If I had all the worst threads lined up in front of me, I wouldn't be shocked if I picked another one or two or maybe even a few ahead of this one. I'd expect not, but it's possible. FWIW, this is the only one that disgusted me enough to say so in a comment.

But if you're questioning whether the thread is vitriolic and disrespectful at all, well res ipsa loquitor. If you don't see vitriol and disrespect aimed at Prof. Korbkin in a lot of these comments, then we simply use different definitions for those words. And if Frank Cross, who agrees with you on the merits of the arguments wasn't able to fix your attention on how arrogant and closed minded a lot of it is, nothing I could say ever would. So draw your own conclusions. With my blessings. The thread speaks for itself.
9.13.2008 6:58pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Here's a site showing the transcript of first segment of the interview. The bold sections are those that ABC removed from the broadcast.

http://marklevinshow.com/gibson-interview/
9.13.2008 7:10pm
Nifonged:
"I already said it. This is the most vitriolic, disrespectful thread I've seen here in months. That's obviously an opinion, not an argument meant to convince anyone. Agree or don't. I don't expect to change any minds. "

So its worth nothing. Its not an argument. Its not a statement based on facts, its merely a statement. I could say I'm the Lord Jesus Christ with no other evidence and it has just as meaning, if that's not silly enough to show how your post is worthless, I don't know what is.

"If you don't see vitriol and disrespect aimed at Prof. Korbkin in a lot of these comments, then we simply use different definitions for those words"

Indeed. Read his post. He starts off by saying that Ms. Palin is an intellectual lightweight. I'm not sure what your measure is for such a strong point, but for me its pretty high. I want to know what qualifications he has to make that point, I understand he has two degrees from Stanford and teaches at UCLA, so why did he write such a lousy, illogical post. He's a big boy, surely he can take it.

I restate, the last paragraph of his post is simply illogical, to the point of being stupid (that I don't think he is) or just sloppy (which is my interpretation).

The professor doesn't believe she is as smart as he is, yet posts something that opens itself up to criticism. If I'm going to say or write anything that questions someone's intellect, I'd be a bit more careful in how I justify that stance. He didn't do it.
9.13.2008 7:11pm
LM (mail):
DiversityHire:

Like the posters above said she's a rorschach test, the abyss that peers back.

Since I said the same thing on another thread recently, I'm forced to agree.

Gotta disagree LM, Professor Korobkin's post is an ad hominem attack on Governor Palin. He's saying she's dumb and shallow based on a television interview. Makes him look bad.

I couldn't disagree more. He might have made his arguments less pointedly, but he's writing a post about a candidate for office. The subject matter is the person. Her personal qualities, good and bad are precisely the point. I wouldn't use a word like "dumb" (and I don't recall him doing it, though I could be wrong), but the inferences you draw about a candidate's intelligence, expertise, how she otherwise handles herself in an interview for which she crammed under the gun couldn't be more relevant to what we have to decide about her.

And when commenters opine, the topic is also supposed to be Sarah Palin, specifically what the blogger wrote about her. The topic is not Russell Korobkin. Your or my opinion of his intelligence or his character or how he looks on TV is off topic and ad hominem. And much of that stuff in this thread was over the top disrespectful and belligerent.
9.13.2008 7:23pm
Nifonged:
"I wouldn't use a word like "dumb" (and I don't recall him doing it, though I could be wrong)"

Again, the term was "intellectual lightweight." What do you think that means? Semi-smart?
9.13.2008 7:26pm
AndrewK (mail):
Thank goodness someone posted the Krauthammer article. I'm not suggesting that Palin is so sophisticated as to be able to identify at least four plausible meanings to the term "Bush doctrine" but we can all agree that the question was vague enough to demand clarification: clarification which Gibson refused to give.

In the same situation, I don't believe that I would have known what he was talking about either. However, for someone who reviles Bush, it may be that "Bush doctrine" only has one meaning ("preemptive strike" whatever that means)... so perhaps the shock on the part of Korobkin and Leiter might be chalked up to political blinders... in which case their shock is both understandable and circular.
9.13.2008 7:29pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Weren't you the one who decried "partisanship?"

I thought travelling at one's own expense was a funny thing to decry.

You can't make this up. Jeez, I never thought the last straw for anyone would be an issue with a maximum expense of under $25,000. This is getting beyond parody.

Then you would support freeing all prisoners who stole less than $25K, because it was an inconsequential sum? Magnanimous of you. You may want to read up on the story of the last straw breaking the camel's back, by the way.

S
9.13.2008 7:32pm
Nifonged:
"Then you would support freeing all prisoners who stole less than $25K, because it was an inconsequential sum?"

How does a last straw equate support for something? Surely you don't think I support the actions of every politician I support.

You'll have to afford me the logical divide, I'm not getting it.
9.13.2008 7:37pm
whit:

Oh...and I have a 1580 SAT


internet SAT score claims are right up there with internet claims of

1) IQ
2) how much you bench press (note: bench press is lame anyways. the real question is... how much do you clean and jerk :) )
3) how much you clean and jerk
4) how hawt your wife/girlfriend is

iow... not worth much
9.13.2008 7:44pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
LM,

Korobkin's initial post was a screed of the "When did you stop beating your wife type". It was based on personal opinions devoid of factual analysis, such as:

"Talk about the look of a deer caught in the headlights."

and factually in error:

"She appears not to understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not (or at least until this week were not) funded by the federal government."

The unstated but absolutely certain backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury was essential to their performance as scams as well as the disaster about to befall the taxpayers.

Korobkin deserved every bit of the vitriol and sarcasm he elicted. His post is a disgrace to the Volokh Conspiracy and harms its credibility.
9.13.2008 7:49pm
LM (mail):
Nifonged:

So its worth nothing. Its not an argument.

I said it's an opinion, not an argument. I don't claim it's worth any more than you paid for it unless you think it is.

Its not a statement based on facts, its merely a statement.

That's false. It's based on the facts of this thread. That's why I feel no need to make an argument of my opinion. Everyone has access to the same facts I based my opinion on. I'd urge anyone to review those facts and draw their own conclusion.

I could say I'm the Lord Jesus Christ with no other evidence and it has just as meaning, if that's not silly enough to show how your post is worthless, I don't know what is.

And if you think that's analogous to what I just said, I'll let that speak for itself too.

He starts off by saying that Ms. Palin is an intellectual lightweight. I'm not sure what your measure is for such a strong point, but for me its pretty high. I want to know what qualifications he has to make that point, I understand he has two degrees from Stanford and teaches at UCLA, so why did he write such a lousy, illogical post.

See my response, above, to DiversityHire.

The professor doesn't believe she is as smart as he is, yet posts something that opens itself up to criticism.

Where did he say she's not as smart as he is?

If I'm going to say or write anything that questions someone's intellect, I'd be a bit more careful in how I justify that stance.

You just said, "I want to know what qualifications he has to make that point, I understand he has two degrees from Stanford and teaches at UCLA, so why did he write such a lousy, illogical post." That sounds like you're questioning his intellect. How did you justify it?

He didn't do it.

He doesn't have to justify why he's qualified to opine on Palin's intelligence or anything else about her. This is a blog. He's a blogger. He's writing about a candidate. He gives you his evidence, his analysis and his conclusions. You can agree or disagree. If you disagree, you can say why. What makes you think you're entitled to any more "justification" than that?
9.13.2008 7:50pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
The Coburn Amendment was a last-minute attempt to rob Peter to pay disaster-affected Paul. Because every Senator represented a possible Peter, passing the Coburn Amendment would have been a dangerous precedent. Louisiana got its funds anyway.
9.13.2008 7:59pm
Nifonged:
"Where did he say she's not as smart as he is? "

What person would call anyone an intellectual lightweight, unless they assumed they were higher? A lesser person wouldn't be qualified, right?

Quit when you're behind.

But if you want to keep arguing, I'd love to hear your remarks on his last paragraph, which you conveniently ignore..which by the way, addresses your next to last point. Would the professor have been less distressed if Ms. Palin bumbled and stumbled about how she decided to accept the nomination?

Ridiculous.
9.13.2008 7:59pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Nifonged: you said, essentially, that fiddling $25,000 from the state was a negligible offense.

And "the last straw" refers to an infinitesimal weight which, when added to the previous load, none the less is more than the poor camel can bear.
9.13.2008 8:03pm
Nifonged:
"Nifonged: you said, essentially, that fiddling $25,000 from the state was a negligible offense. "

I did no such thing, I simply stated that someone taking offense to such an action to be the proverbial straw was silly. To wit you stated:

"Then you would support freeing all prisoners who stole less than $25K"

which is even less logical, that's not $25,000, that's a multiple given how many prisoners have stolen that amount, that's an infinite amount of offense being accepted, NOT $25,000.

Logic much? Really? This is too easy.
9.13.2008 8:08pm
pluribus:
Elliot123:

"While apparently a reformer, Palin has distinct character.
After the details of the bridge were revealed, both Obama and Biden had the chance to redirect the bridge money to Katrina relief, both voted to keep it for the bridge. They had the chance to kill it and didn't. What does that say about their characters?

Nothing at all, except that they are senators who vote on measures that come before the Senate, some voting aye and some nay. They did not claim they said "thanks, but no thanks." (You do remember, don't you, that it was the socker mom who said that?) And they did not accept the money after all the talking was over. (You do remember, don't you, that it was the socker mom who did that?)
9.13.2008 8:15pm
DiversityHire:
LM, if Professor Korobkin hadn't titled his post so provocatively and said "...she is an intellectual lightweight...", "...she is in over her head...", you might have a case. As it stands, the Professor—perhaps trying to being funny?—went all-in ad hominem. That's great from an entertainment value perspective, but it opens the author up to reply in-kind. So I don't think this is a particularly offensive or disrespectful thread, by Palintological standards.

Also, I think there's another interpretation of the Governor's reaction to the phrase "Bush Doctrine" and her "worldview" response. She was speaking of islamic fundamentalism just before the question was asked. There wasn't any context provided, so she may have assumed he meant something entirely different and cautiously sought to confirm before proceeding with her answer. Her response ("His world view.") makes me believe that this may have been the case because "worldview" is a common fundamentalist catch phrase or "code word." She likely would have said "His Christian world view." if she were at ease among fellow travelers.

Still her fault for not speaking MSM-ese, I guess, and not assuming that Gibson meant the right of anticipatory self defence, i.e., The Bush Doctrine, as he understands it :)
9.13.2008 8:19pm
Smokey:
Funny, Tutins. You're trying to say a legal per diem is flatly illegal [so go get her, tiger. Make the arrest, heh.] -- but you give a free pass to the hundreds of $millions run through Obama/Ayres hands.

Nobody is allowed to see Obama's meeting minutes, just like nobody is allowed to see Obama's high school transcripts, SAT, LSAT, etc., etc. You're asking us to buy a pig in a poke.

People don't hide what they're proud of. People don't hide their legal activity. But they fight tooth and nail to hide their wrongdoing, and to hide their political fictions -- like claiming they got into HLS on merit.

0 is an empty suit with negligible experience. Even McCain's VP pick easily beats 0 on that score. And unlike 0, she's got class.
9.13.2008 8:23pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Does anybody know if Obama and Biden currently support building the Bridge to Nowhere? Have they said? Do they still support Ted Stevens' push to build it? We know they once did. How about now?

We know McCain and Palin oppose it.
9.13.2008 8:28pm
Annonymous Coward:
What's the deal with these ersatz Conspirators?


I look forward to the Wahh, they're being mean to me post. And a promise, soon broken, to stay away from politics.
9.13.2008 8:38pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

just like nobody is allowed to see Obama's high school transcripts, SAT, LSAT, etc., etc.

Has McCain made his high school transcripts available? I missed that. I don't think they had the SAT back when he was in Episcopal High (current "comprehensive fee" for tuition, room and board, etc.: $40,875 a year).
9.13.2008 8:54pm
Nifonged:
"What's the deal with these ersatz Conspirators? "

Not sure, but Brian Leiter has linked to this thread. I never understood his appeal, much like Kermit the Frog or Jimmy Fallon. Maybe he can weigh in with his infinite knowledge. Maybe he has (insert dramatic gopher clip)????
9.13.2008 8:55pm
Bpbatista (mail):
Dems are about to learn that mysogyny is not a winning electoral strategy.

Calling the Republican candidate "stupid" is also a loser -- just ask Presidents Mondale, Gore and Kerry.
9.13.2008 8:59pm
josil (mail):
While it's probably true that Sarah Palin is not the most intelligent person available, it does appear she has street smarts. And the latter seems to be an attribute not often found in journalists or academics. For people holding power in a democracy, I prefer the more homely talent. I've seen the damage that intellectuals can do when in power (e.g., W. Wilson).
9.13.2008 9:00pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

a free pass to the hundreds of $millions run through Obama/Ayres hands

Smokey wants to know what happened to the $150 million disbursed by the Chicago Annenburg Challenge -- a sum much larger than the annual budget of Wasilla, Alaska over the same time period by the way.

As a little research would have shown, the money went to Chicago Public Schools, to fund various grassroots projects targeted at improving education in Chicago schools. The philosophy was to try the ideas of the people closest to the children: parents and teachers; rather than fund the massive out-of-touch CPS bureaucracy.

p62From the 1996-97 through 2000-01 school years, the Annenberg Foundation awarded special funding to as many as 210 of Chicago's public schools, 90 percent of which were elementary schools. The funding, which had also been provided to cities such as New York and San Francisco, was part of a large-scale local school reform philosophy that intended to improve student achievement and other social and psychological outcomes. In Chicago, the Annenberg Challenge reflected a democratic localism that placed great faith in the ability of local schools, in partnership with parents and their communities, to develop their own strategies to achieve professional development and instructional goals.
9.13.2008 9:03pm
Sylvester J. Pussycat (mail) (www):
There's a rumor that representatives of the MSM and the Obama campaign are preparing to issue a joint statement, denying everything.
9.13.2008 9:03pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

I've seen the damage that intellectuals can do when in power (e.g., W. Wilson).

Proof that even centenarians can learn how to use the intertubes.
9.13.2008 9:05pm
geokster (mail):
As to all this disagreement over what is or is not an "intellectual lightweight", I am reminded of something William F. Buckley said decades ago, that he would rather be governed by the first 400 names in the Boston phone directory than the faculty of Harvard. I heartily agree with this sentiment. (And he was hardly a lightweight when it came to intellect.)

One thing that nearly every career politician and most "intellectual heavyweights" seem to lack is common sense. Another is a sense of honor (look it up.) One of the things they definitely do possess is an overabundance of hubris.

Both politicians and intellectual heavyweights, when they get in power, quickly achieve a total disconnect with what normal citizens have to deal with, and then proceed to inflict on that citizenry totally unworkable and abysmally expensive "solutions" to massive problems they, or their predecessors, were the primary cause of in the first place.

And I definitely do not like the idea of having a lawyer in charge of goverment. They have after all been trained to talk out of both sides of their mouths, and that it is their duty to get murderers and child molestors off without jail time even if they have to twist the process to do it.
9.13.2008 9:35pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Prof. Korobkin hasn't responded even once to any comment on this post.

I like Sarah Palin but will be the first to say that she is not some kind of foreign policy wonk. Ironically, there is a foreign policy wonk in the Vice President's office, Dick Cheney, who many consider to be Satan himself.

The unedited transcripts of Ms. Palin's interview, which include the stuff that ABC carefully left out, show her to display considerably more nuance and understanding than what appeared on TV. One more argument for the campaigns to shoot their own video of the entire interview and then post the unedited video on the Internet so that we can see the whole thing, not just the parts that we are supposed to see.

Ms. Palin seems to be a person with street smarts in the Jacksonian tradition. Alas, this is not something that the chattering classes view favorably. Which brings me to the good Professor himself, who uses phrases like:

... she's still an intellectual lightweight... Talk about the look of a deer caught in the headlights ... it isn't clear that she even pays much attention to the newspapers ... or even in-depth thoughts ... she lacks the intellectual heft ... in way over her head


This is hubris of a high degree and causes me to question Prof. Korobkin's intellectual temperament - that he is so threatened by this woman that he must attack her in this personal manner. (His substantive attacks have been debunked by earlier posters.) Clearly, advanced degrees from prestigious universtities are no guarantee of common sense. For what it is worth, I have a master's degree in Chemical Engineering, have worked in the semiconductor industry for nearly 15 years, and have the humility to learn something new everyday, often from working class people on the factory floor with no degree at all, or from newly minted engineers just out of college. You could learn something from common people, Prof. Korobkin - humility, common sense and respect for the viewpoint and experience of your fellow citizens.
9.13.2008 10:06pm
Dales (mail) (www):
Prof. Korobkin hasn't responded even once to any comment on this post.

If it is because he suddenly recalled the first rule of holes, it would somewhat offset the damage he did to his credibility as a Volokh contributor.

If it is because he feels he does not need to defend his arguments from those who obviously aren't as intellectual is him, then not so much.

Based on the tenor of his original post, which of those two possibilities is more likely?

Although I cannot discount that he simply posted it and has not been around since.
9.13.2008 10:51pm
Bored Lawyer:

She appears not to understand that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not (or at least until this week were not) funded by the federal government. Before the mortgage market imploded, plenty of policy sophisticates might not have known this, but there sure has been a lot of press about those two companies this summer.


Where exactly in the interview do you get this conclusion from?
It has been quite clear, at least to me, for many years, that Fannie Mae was a quasi-governmental entity -- set up bu the federal govt., technically private, but with an implied guarantee from the federal govt. that it would prop it up from any failure. That -- without proper govt. regulation and oversigh -- is a recipe for disaster. Now all us taxpayers will be paying for that disaster to the tune of $200 Billion or so.

Now what did Sarah Palin say:


The fact is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers


Where does she say they were funded by the federal govt.? Nowhere. Her statment is perfectly consistent with the notion that the federal govt. extended an implicit guarantee of those loans (which in fact what it was -- now the guarantee is being called in) -- one that is now too big and extensive for the taxpayer to bear.
9.13.2008 10:56pm
Cobra (mail) (www):
Since we're discussing "intellectual lightweights" and "academic credentials":

The candidate in this race who graduated from two Ivies, Columbia University, where he majored in Political Science and International Relations writing his thesis on the nuclear disarmament of the Soviet Union--and Harvard Law School, Magna Cum Laude, while holding the title of President of the Harvard Law Review is...

Senator Barack Obama.

Obama has held jobs out of college with the Business International Corporation, where his job was described as "..a researcher and writer for a reference service called Financing Foreign Operations. He also wrote for a newsletter, Business International Money Report." and the New York Public Interest Research Group dscribed as "a nonprofit organization that promotes consumer, environmental and government reform. He became a full-time organizer at City College in Harlem, paid slightly less than $10,000 a year to mobilize student volunteers."

Obama, after passing the Illinois Bar in 1991, was also a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago.

IMHO, all this smack talk about Obama being an "intellectual lightweight" sounds akin to Al Campanis nonsense compared to the other three on the roster.

If you hate Obama, simply say so. Claiming he's an "intellectual lightweight" or an "empty suit" only reflects on at BEST, the ignorance of the person making that claim.

Save that for college drop-outs like Limbaugh and Hannity.

--Cobra
9.13.2008 11:04pm
Nifonged:
If anyone can explain the post above, I'd love to read it.

By the way I didn't go to HLS so if someone would be so helpful, is there such a thing as the "President" of Harvard Law Review?
9.13.2008 11:11pm
LM (mail):

Prof. Korobkin hasn't responded even once to any comment on this post.

That wins the thread for funniest comment.

This is Prof. Korobkin's blog, his house in effect, and he invited us in to exchange some opinions about a little essay he wrote on one of our Vice Presidential candidates. And what did we do? We told him what he can do with his essay by trashing the house. We ate all the food, stole the silverware, ripped up the carpet, set fire to the curtains, smeared feces on the walls, flushed M80's down the toilets, and dumped the furniture, dishes and everything else that can be carried into the swimming pool.

And now you're wondering why he won't come out on the patio and have some coffee with us and chat?
9.13.2008 11:12pm
LM (mail):

By the way I didn't go to HLS so if someone would be so helpful, is there such a thing as the "President" of Harvard Law Review?

Yes.
9.13.2008 11:15pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Nifonged:

According to Wikipedia


Using a competitive process that takes into account first-year grades, an editing exercise, and a written commentary on a court decision, The Harvard Law Review selects between 41 and 43 editors annually from the second-year Law School class, which numbers 560.

Two editors from each of first-year class's seven sections (fourteen in all) are selected half by their first year grades and half by their scores on the writing competition. Another twenty are selected solely on their scores on the writing competition. The other seven to nine are selected by a discretionary committee, either to fulfill the review's race-based affirmative action program, to select students who just missed the cut by either of the other two processes, or by some other criteria as the committee sees fit.


These editors then vote one of their number to be President of the Law Review.
9.13.2008 11:21pm
Kevin P. (mail):

LM:
We told him what he can do with his essay by trashing the house. We ate all the food, stole the silverware, ripped up the carpet, set fire to the curtains, smeared feces on the walls, flushed M80's down the toilets, and dumped the furniture, dishes and everything else that can be carried into the swimming pool.


LOL. Andrew Sullivan? Is that really you?
9.13.2008 11:26pm
gerbilsbite:
It's absolutely shocking to me how many commenters here, like Gov. Palin, seem to have no real knowledge of the subjects on which they type. Just glancing at the top 50 comments, I saw references to the idea that Obama supported invading Pakistan (what he argued for, as anyone who actually bothered to investigate the comment would know) is cross-border attacks against Taliban and al Qaeda forces, exactly like the ones President Bush authorized US forces to conduct back in July. As to the "McCain can't use a computer because he was a POW" tripe, Tucker Bounds begs to differ.

Willful ignorance is nothing to be proud of, fellas, and it's fascinating how eagerly so many of you are attacking Russell for pointing out that fact.
9.13.2008 11:28pm
Nifonged:
"These editors then vote one of their number to be President of the Law Review."

Daaaayyyyuuum, those folks in crimson have a leg-up in the position label, we had to settle with editor-in-chief.

What's Yale's title, King?
9.13.2008 11:31pm
Smokey:
I am all for disclosing every candidate's record. All of it. I want to make an informed decision.

However, McCain's record is pretty damn clear: he served his country above and beyond, when he could have had it easy. His senate voting record shows that, unlike Obama, he's not afraid to take a stand. We know where he graduated from Annapolis.

There is only one reason 0 refuses to release his high school transcripts: he's mediocre. If he were the whiz that his worshippers claim, his 4.0 transcripts would be on his web home page for all to see.

But enough about McCain. We already know he was a genuine war hero, and that he's a slightly left of center senator. Let's continue with the real comparison: the anti-American vs the genuine American.

There's America's choice.
9.13.2008 11:44pm
Smokey:
We ate all the food, stole the silverware, ripped up the carpet, set fire to the curtains, smeared feces on the walls, flushed M80's down the toilets, and dumped the furniture, dishes and everything else that can be carried into the swimming pool.
That was the Clinton/Gore staff leaving the White House in January, 2001, right?

gerbilsbite:
Willful ignorance is nothing to be proud of...
Yep. So here's the difference, gerbil: Bush chased down the Taliban and gave them a well-deserved bitch-slapping, courtesy of the great U.S. military... with the permission of Pakistan.

But 0bama, in his inexperience, believes it's A-OK to do the same thing -- whether Pakistan gives its permission or not! Young Obama needs some more international experience under his belt, before he gets our country into a dispute by disrespecting an ally. Willful ignorance is nothing to be proud of.
9.13.2008 11:59pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Smokey:Young Obama needs some more international experience under his belt, before he gets our country into a dispute by disrespecting an ally. Willful ignorance is nothing to be proud of.

I don't understand you. This is precisely what the Bush administration is reported to have authorized within the last month: incursions into Pakistan with permission or prior notification of Pakistan. For OBama to do it is disrespectful but for Bush to do it is OK?
9.14.2008 12:08am
Smokey:
Mr. Canuck,

If you don't understand the difference between permission, and willfully disregarding an ally's borders, I have no interest in enlightening you. But Sarah Palin is merciful to those with disabilities. Perhaps writing to her will get you the response you need.

Carry on.
9.14.2008 12:14am
byomtov (mail):
Prof. Korobkin hasn't responded even once to any comment on this post.

Why should he?
9.14.2008 12:15am
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Sorry typo in my last post it should have read:
This is precisely what the Bush administration is reported to have authorized within the last month: incursions into Pakistan without permission or prior notification of Pakistan.
9.14.2008 12:17am
Pete Freans (mail):
So Palin is a stupid hick and McCain has one foot in the grave. Is that the best VC contributors can offer? The professor should read Charles Krauthammer's article here regarding the Bush Doctrine, first named by Krauthammer himself.

As the election approaches, this blog, which I have held in the highest regard, is reading more like the Daily Kos, void of critical analysis and hard research.
9.14.2008 12:30am
Pete Freans (mail):
And while we are on the subject of verbal nuances, maybe Senator Biden needs a lesson about our military structure after this speech.
9.14.2008 12:37am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pete:

The professor should read Charles Krauthammer's article here regarding the Bush Doctrine


There's a whole thread on that subject. Maybe you should take a look at it.
9.14.2008 12:45am
LM (mail):
DiversityHire:

As it stands, the Professor—perhaps trying to being funny?—went all-in ad hominem. That's great from an entertainment value perspective, but it opens the author up to reply in-kind. So I don't think this is a particularly offensive or disrespectful thread, by Palintological standards.

I think you may misunderstand how a blog is supposed to work. The blogger writes something and we talk about it. It. Not him. It's like a movie screening or an art show, or your uncle shows you his butterfly collection. The point is to look at and talk about what's being shown -- not the person doing the showing.

Sometimes we like what a blogger says, sometimes we hate it. But if we think it's OK to express our opinion by attacking the blogger personally, that's not a blog. It's Lord of the Flies. Blogs can't survive without respect for that boundary, because no one worth reading wants to be a punching bag. It's like violating diplomatic immunity. You just don't go there if you want any of what you get from diplomacy (probably a bad example here).

Anyway, what makes what happened today ironic is that it's not just an assault on the blogger. This place is available to us only so long as the site is viable. And how Prof. Korobkin was treated today is like when sports fans riot and burn their own city after their team wins a championship. It's not only a pathetic display of citizenship. It's also really dumb. It hurts them, and this hurts us.

If you're thinking, so what, it's not as if it was Eugene, you're wrong. He no more wants his co-bloggers attacked than he wants to be attacked himself. If this place became untenable for guest bloggers with controversial views because Eugene couldn't rely on the locals to behave, I have no idea what he'd do, but I'll bet it wouldn't be nothing.

Finally, and I don't care about this, but you should, how often does Michelle Malkin or Powerline or LGF post something outrageous from Daily Kos or Huffington Post? They're like the newspaper clippings coaches tape to locker room walls that have some idiot from the other team mouthing off about what he's going to do on Sunday. That guy's whole team is now screwed because the other coach shows the clipping to his players. That's what happens when you see something ridiculous from the left -- it reflects on the whole left, and the same thing happens on the left wing sites with outrages from the right. So when someone posts here with a pro-left point of view and what happened here today happens, this becomes the potential red meat for my side, for the left, if anybody happened to be around who passes along that sort of thing. You guys, and the right generally, will be shown as angry, intolerant, ugly... everything you see when a caricature of the left finds its way here. But if that doesn't concern you, I'm not going to worry about it.
9.14.2008 12:49am
marcystrauss (mail):
elliot 123--i understood that McCain did not vote one way or another on redirecting the money from the bridge to Katrina-that he was not present to vote.
9.14.2008 12:52am
marcystrauss (mail):
smokey--you are worried about Obama's high school transcript? YOu have got to be kidding. McCain by the way graduated at the very bottom of his class in college.
9.14.2008 12:54am
Nifonged:
"The blogger writes something and we talk about it. It."

Well, uhh, yeah, maybe, but again when the blogger starts off a post that someone is "an intellectual lightweight," shouldn't part of the discussion be the blogger's judgment in rendering that decision?

Why aren't you getting this? Seriously. Are you a sock of the professor? You seem to be taking this personally.
9.14.2008 12:57am
LM (mail):
Kevin P.

LOL. Andrew Sullivan? Is that really you?

Nifonged

Why aren't you getting this? Seriously. Are you a sock of the professor?

If I was Andrew Sullivan and Russell Korobkin, the world would be a very strange place.
9.14.2008 1:07am
Nifonged:
"the world would be a very strange place."

Indeed a strange world where the term "consider the source" has no meaning or relevance.
9.14.2008 1:09am
LM (mail):
Nifonged:

Are you familiar with the term "civil discourse?"
9.14.2008 1:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
"If I was Andrew Sullivan and Russell Korobkin, the world would be a very strange place."

But I've never seen those two photographed together. Kind of makes you stop and think, doesn't it?

And have you ever noticed that Ringo Starr and Yassir Arafat were never photographed together?
9.14.2008 1:13am
Nifonged:
Yeah, and I think again I've been very charitable. The 11:49 post would have been great fodder for ridicule. I didn't go there. I just pointed out that the idea that taking a blogger's argument at face value without questioning their motives, point of view, or aptitude is not ideal.

Is that civil enough? Should I rip the 11:49 post apart for you?
9.14.2008 1:17am
DiversityHire:

I think you may misunderstand how a blog is supposed to work. The blogger writes something and we talk about it. It. Not him. It's like a movie screening or an art show, or your uncle shows you his butterfly collection.


Suppose the art on display is just a picture of Sarah Palin with the words "stinkbutt" spray-painted across them? Do the same rules of decorum apply?

I'm not sure about those blog rules, anyway. Maybe a blog is supposed to work more like a rock concert: when the band really sucks, they get booed from the stage; or like a Phillies game: watch out for the batteries.
9.14.2008 1:26am
Elliot123 (mail):
"elliot 123--i understood that McCain did not vote one way or another on redirecting the money from the bridge to Katrina-that he was not present to vote."

The best I can determine is that the amendment failed on an 82-15 vote, and McCain was not present. Both Obama and Biden voted against the amendment which would have transferred the funds to a bridge damaged in Katrina. So they voted to maintain the earmark for the bridge.

The Senate then removed the bridge earmark and its money from the transportation bill, and added the money to the state's general allocation of transportation funds. So, Alaska received no funds earmarked for the bridge, but did receive general funds, as all states did, to be used at the state's discretion. They could have used the money for the bridge as Stevens, Murkowski, and Young wanted. Palin said No.

It appears Obama and Biden were on the side of Stevens, Murkowski, and Young. Palin was on the other side.

I'd welcome any further information on this. Anybody have any?
9.14.2008 1:27am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
"I'd welcome any further information on this. Anybody have any?"

Yes. The key issue is not comparing Obama's behavior regarding the bridge to Palin's behavior regarding the bridge (although that's a nice attempt at misdirection). The key issue is comparing Palin's behavior regarding the bridge to her description of her behavior regarding the bridge. The problem is that she's been telling a story that is not an honest portrayal of what she did.

A naive observer listening to her story (i.e., most observers) would be inclined to conclude that she was always against the bridge, and she didn't accept the money that had been originally set aside for the bridge. But both those things are false. Like many other claims that are coming out of the McCain campaign (like one that is described here).
9.14.2008 2:24am
marcystrauss (mail):
tony tutins--and i've seen the danger that intellectual lightweights can do-ie, George Bush and Dick Cheney
9.14.2008 2:28am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The problem is that she's been telling a story that is not an honest portrayal of what she did.
The problem is that she's been telling an accurate story, but PartisanHack doesn't like it because she's a conservative.
9.14.2008 2:40am
Tony Tutins (mail):

Both Obama and Biden voted against the amendment which would have transferred the funds to a bridge damaged in Katrina. So they voted to maintain the earmark for the bridge.

They voted not to strip an earmark from one state and give it to another. That was the overarching principle, not the bridge per se. What would prevent another amendment stripping Louisiana of the Slidell bridge money and giving it to Mississippi? Nothing.

Or do you have quotes to the contrary from Biden and Obama?
9.14.2008 2:44am
Tony Tutins (mail):

The problem is that she's been telling an accurate story, but PartisanHack doesn't like it because she's a conservative.

Then David could not criticize Obama for saying (hypothetically), "I never got a dime of earmark money for Michelle's employer." The fact that he asked for a million dollar earmark would be as irrelevant as Palin's campaign promise to the people of Ketchikan to support the bridge, or her accepting the bridge earmark, and spending it on other projects.
9.14.2008 2:48am
Tom Hanna (www):
When most politicians are indirect or evasive, answering the question they wish the interviewer had asked instead of the actual question, it's considered normal politics. When The One does it, it's considered Change and the Hope of the World. When Sarah Palin does it, it's considered being an "intellectual lightweight."
9.14.2008 3:14am
LM (mail):
Charity, they name is "Nifonged."

I was actually asking you a serious question which you apparently took as snark, but whatever. You unintentionally answered the question anyway.

Yeah, and I think again I've been very charitable. The 11:49 post would have been great fodder for ridicule. I didn't go there. [...] Is that civil enough? Should I rip the 11:49 post apart for you?

I insist. Encouraging more of your matchless wit, wisdom and critique for our reading pleasure seems the very least I can do to atone for some of the pretentious crap I've inflicted on this thread.
9.14.2008 3:36am
Asher (mail):
They could have used the money for the bridge as Stevens, Murkowski, and Young wanted. Palin said No.

Er, they could have used it towards the bridge, but the 223 million they were given was far from sufficient and Palin didn't care to spend Alaskan dollars on it, so she "killed" the project. I mean, here's her very own statement on the matter:

"Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer," said Governor Palin. "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island," Governor Palin added. "Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened."

http://gov.state.ak.us/archive-28635.html
9.14.2008 4:37am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island


Exactly. Which plainly indicates that if Congress was willing to write a big enough check, she's be happy to take it and build the stinking bridge. This is quite different from "thanks but no thanks."
9.14.2008 5:22am
Kevin P. (mail):

LM:
I think you may misunderstand how a blog is supposed to work. The blogger writes something and we talk about it. It. Not him..


Thanks for the primer on how blogs work. I am not sure that Prof. Korobkin actually needs your help or defense. After all, this is his blog and he is free to delete any or all of the comments or close them down.

And Prof. Korobkin is a big boy and plays in the big leagues. This is what he had to say about Gov. Palin:

... she's still an intellectual lightweight... Talk about the look of a deer caught in the headlights ... it isn't clear that she even pays much attention to the newspapers ... or even in-depth thoughts ... she lacks the intellectual heft ... in way over her head


I am sure he would not dish out this kind of personal abuse if he could not take it. He doesn't need to hide behind you.
9.14.2008 6:54am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Kevin,
IMO,that kind of dishing signals a very thin skin.
It means that Prof K. thinks this is wounding. That it would wound him is likely. That's why he thinks it's a Real Big Hit. So that means he really can't take it.
Also, those who really can take it rarely bother to dish out such lameness.
9.14.2008 9:37am
F LEE (mail):
The liberal condescension in this law professors post is appalling.

It seems that if you are not a lawyer or have gone to an ivy league school, then you are an intellectual lightweight with no credentials to be President or Vice President.

Isn't this exactly what they said about Reagan? Oh look, not a lawyer and went to Eureka College. Coincidence? Nah.

The liberal intelligentsia has their head stuck in the sand and fail to understand that you don't have to be a lawyer or go to an ivy league school to be president.

BTW, didn't Obama start his college career at Occidental College?
9.14.2008 12:01pm
Careless:

Of course, I have no idea how anyone could get the idea that Sarah Palin is in way over her head, that's just ridiculous crazy talk. Shame on you, Russell Korkobin, shame on you.


LN: there have been many good criticisms of Palin brought up here. None, unfortunately, came from professor Korkobin. Yes, he's going to get ripped when he writes such a poorly thought out post, even if the subject of the post deserves to be criticized.
9.14.2008 1:05pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Obama start his college career at Occidental College?

Yep. Occidental is currently ranked 37 among all liberal arts colleges by US News.
9.14.2008 1:07pm
elim:
if I might be so bold, could I inquire if the good professor has any children going into the service or combat? I would guess that the parent of someone who is going might have some thoughts on the topic. might even be more serious about the issue than a law professor.
9.14.2008 1:37pm
elim:
for follow up, could the professor enlighten me as to why FM/FM aren't going to be costing as much as hundreds of billions of dollars? after all, he is right and Palin is wrong-it shouldn't cost me a dime.
9.14.2008 1:40pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"They voted not to strip an earmark from one state and give it to another. That was the overarching principle, not the bridge per se. What would prevent another amendment stripping Louisiana of the Slidell bridge money and giving it to Mississippi? Nothing."

They voted in favor funding a wasteful project, when they and the rest of the country all knew it was a waste. They supported Stevens, Young, and Murkowski. They voted against using the money for a very good project. Fifteen senators opposed them and chose to vote against the waste and for productive use of the funds. But Obama and Biden threw their support behind Stevens, Murkowski, and Young.

If another amendment proposed giving the Slidell money to Mississippi, the only thing that would prevent it would be the votes of the senators. Is that a problem?

Their overarching principle was protection of the earmark system.

So, do Obama and Biden currently support building the Bridge to Nowhere? Does anybody know? Have they said? They once suppotted it in a specific vote. If they don't support it now, were they for it before they were aganst it?
9.14.2008 1:50pm
gerbilsbite (mail):
Smokey, you actually living up to that name or what? Because unless you're on some psychoactive substance, I don't see how you can assert
Yep. Bush chased down the Taliban and gave them a well-deserved bitch-slapping, courtesy of the great U.S. military... with the permission of Pakistan.
...so recently after these articles came out:
Pakistan to protest new U.S. missile strike (Reuters)

U.S. and Pakistani officials have publicly and privately disavowed claims that Pakistan has agreed to the change in tactics.

The recent spate of U.S. strikes, at least one of them apparently under the new rules, has provoked sharp condemnation from top Pakistani government and military officials.
-Washington Post

Pak lodges protest with US over missile attack- Times of India
The list goes on. Pakistan did not approve the attacks, Bush behaved in the same way Obama suggested--hitting militants that attacked our forces regardless of what side of the border they were on. Whether you agree with the tactic or not, you don't get to pretend that there was some magical agreement between Pakistan and the administration that would make Bush's actions kosher and Obama's not. That sort of claim transcends willful ignorance into blatant self-delusion.
9.14.2008 2:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
do Obama and Biden currently support building the Bridge to Nowhere?


They are not running around claiming they said "thanks but no thanks." Palin's problem is not what she did regarding the bridge. Palin's problem is that she's been lying to us about what she did regarding the bridge.
9.14.2008 4:24pm
Asher (mail):

They are not running around claiming they said "thanks but no thanks." Palin's problem is not what she did regarding the bridge. Palin's problem is that she's been lying to us about what she did regarding the bridge.


I wouldn't even say that's the problem; lying's common in politics. The thing is that her stance on the bridge is being trumpeted as one of her big reformer credentials, and it's entirely myth.
9.14.2008 6:19pm
LM (mail):
Kevin P.,

We're in agreement that Prof. Korobkin doesn't need my help. (At least so I assume, never having met him). So it's a good thing helping him had nothing to do with why I said anything I did.
9.14.2008 6:34pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"They are not running around claiming they said "thanks but no thanks." Palin's problem is not what she did regarding the bridge. Palin's problem is that she's been lying to us about what she did regarding the bridge."

Doesn't anyone know if Obama and Biden currently support the Bridge to Nowhere? If they remain in favor of it, then they have maintained a consistent position supporting Stevens, Murkowski, and Young. If they are now against it, were they for it before they were against it?
9.14.2008 7:40pm
MQuinn:
I am appalled by the sheer hatred pouring from this comment thread.

While I disagreed with it, I enjoyed Korobkin's post because it challenged my opinions and presented a new perspective for the VC. I suggest that we are all made better by responding to opposing viewpoints. Those of you that have posted rants and insults are the ones that most need to spend time thinking about the views of the Korobkins of the world instead of marginalizing them with childish insults. Or is it simply too comfortable to leave the warm, soothing, agreeable environment offered by Bernstein's posts?

While this is the best blog on the www, it operates as a right-of-center echo chamber. Korobkin's post threatened the operation of this echo chamber, and the backlash is powerful!
9.14.2008 8:04pm
AnnJo (mail):
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being "most scared," Palin scares me at about a 6, McCain at 4, Obama at 9, and Biden likewise at 6. Adjusting very roughly (I am neither a statistician nor an actuary) for likelihood of serving as President if elected, then, the Obama/Biden ticket scares me at about 8.91 and McCain/Palin at about 4.3. No contest.

Palin has had neither the time nor the reason (until lately) to devote much effort to becoming a foreign policy maven.

Obama, on the other hand, clearly has been running for President since before he entered the Senate in 2003, and possibly since he entered law school.

Palin's ignorance is therefore understandable, and possibly remediable, while Obama's is not.

Biden isn't ignorant (although he's not that smart) and I actually suspect he has much better judgment on foreign affairs than his running mate and most of his Party. Unfortunately, he has a weak character and even if he became President, he would not be able to stand up against his Party, which has become reflexively anti-American in its foreign policy instincts.

McCain probably has as good a grasp of foreign policy as any member of the Senate, and a better instinct on military matters than any of them AND of the Bush Administration.

I think altogether too much emphasis is placed on candidates' remarks made in extemporaneous interviews and public appearances, especially when removed from the context in which they were made. Palin's "I don't know what a VP does," or "In what context, Charlie?" are much like Obama's "lipstick on a pig" or "I've visited 57 states," remarks. Both leave an opening for attack ads, and prove that nobody is 100% on script at all times, but so what?

As for the Bush Doctrine, I doubt that most of the people commenting negatively on Palin's response knew what it meant before this controversy, and I would have loved to have seen this question asked of Obama at an early stage of his campaign, but strangely, no one ever thought of it until now. The print edition of the Washington Post contains only 18 mentions of "the Bush doctrine" in the two years before Gibson's question, and several of those seem to be in the comments sections to articles that did not use that term.
9.14.2008 8:29pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
She's in way over her head.

Wow, it's hard to imagine a right-winger getting a pass making such a comment about a liberal woman. The wailing and gnashing of teeth would be overwhelming.

Quite frankly I don't see Palin as terribly different intellectually from say Boxer or Pelosi. Gawd knows they have both said incredibly stupid (and thoroughly wrong) things. Palin's only obvious crime is being a woman and not a liberal.
9.14.2008 8:55pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
McQuinn. I have thought about Prof. K's post and thoughts.
Boy. You really don't want to know what I think. One of the issues which cinched it for me is that he thinks, or pretends to think for some reason, a number of things which have already been so debunked that even Kos isn't peddling them any longer.
9.14.2008 11:10pm
Floridan:
em: "Wow. I wouldn't have expected such an inane post on VC."

Apparently you haven't been reading those by Jim Lindgren.
9.14.2008 11:20pm
Asher (mail):
Palin has had neither the time nor the reason (until lately) to devote much effort to becoming a foreign policy maven.

But Ann, she's not an anything maven. Her answers on economic policy were just as contentless - actually, even more - as her answers on foreign affairs. She was asked in what three ways McCain's economic policies would differ from Bush's, and the first answer she gave was tax cuts. The third was "reform oversight of agencies." The second was cut spending, and how does she plan to do that? Finding efficiencies, of course! Sounds like a plan. The only issues she was halfway fluent on were abortion, gun control, and stem cells. Oh, and the bridge, but that hardly speaks in her favor. Like what is she, a hot-button social issues specialist? A dimmer Pat Buchanan?
9.14.2008 11:42pm
Randy R. (mail):
I'm so glad to see so conservative suddenly concerned about 'experience' for the White House. Back in 2000, Al Gore was clearly more experienced that Gov. Bush was for the White House, but I guess experience wasn't an issue back then, was it? Otherwise, we would surely have seen all these Republicans voting for the most experience man, which would have been Gore, right?

Oh no. Experience only matters when it favors *your* candidate. Otherwise, it doesn't matter at all.
9.15.2008 12:33am
TCO:
The first thought that went through my head when Gibson mentioned the Bush Doctrine was "is that some sort of lefty DKOS term?" Even now, that I've seens some of the stuff written on it and the dim memory comes back to me of having seen some references in articles, it still seems like a very informal and imprecise and not yet crystalized historically term to use.

Basically, these anchor people are Broadcast News types. Not really that bright. So when they spout some crap like this that the production assistant gave them, they think they really are up to speed and in the know.

I would much rather have had Bob Novak and George Stephanapolis tearing into her. At least they have brains.
9.15.2008 12:50am
TCO:
Oh...and I think that it's a little bizarre people here saying that Palin should have listed several of the known meanings of the Bush Doctrine. I mean if you want to give her a pop quiz, just do so directly. Ask her to identify the term.

I still think it's a dumb term. From dumb pussy ass half-wit Broadcast News journalists that have never been downrange.
9.15.2008 12:53am
LM (mail):
juris_imprudent:

She's in way over her head.

Wow, it's hard to imagine a right-winger getting a pass making such a comment about a liberal woman. The wailing and gnashing of teeth would be overwhelming.

Good thing nothing like that's happened here.
9.15.2008 1:20am
Greg Q (mail) (www):
Russell Korobkin, you are pathetic loser.

I'll happily put my intellectual "chops" up against yours, be it raw intelligence, intellectual curiosity, or knowledge of foreign affairs, and I would have answered the question the same way Gov. Palin did. "What do you think of the Bush Doctrine?" is a meaningless question until you specify which one you mean. And Gibson didn't even get the right one (something you appear to have missed. So much for your claims of intellectual rigor)!

It's always funny watching mental midgets bashing others for their supposed lack of intelligence. You are clearly going to be a laugh a minute.
9.15.2008 1:44am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
it still seems like a very informal and imprecise and not yet crystalized historically term to use


Gibson didn't even get the right one


There's an entire thread on this subject. If you read it, you'll discover how wrong you are.
9.15.2008 9:09am
MQuinn:
Richard Aubrey,

I think you missed my point. I'll rehash briefly. Hate-filled rhetoric adds nothing to the debate. Often, those that make such statements are the ones that are capable of offering the least to the debate.

That said, please point me to something of substance in your previous post. You know, something that, in your individual case, tends to disprove my hypothesis. There isn't anything. Further, you exhibit all of the symptoms of one captivated by the echo chamber. You insinuate your desire to say nasty things. You call the opponent a liar. And for good measure you throw in an irrelevant insult against a liberal blog.

And all the while you have not said anything of importance, originality, concreteness, or helpfulness -- i.e., substance.
9.15.2008 9:09am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
McQ.
What I said of substance was that K's post included assertions of facts which had been debunked so thoroughly and so much earlier that his using them was astonishing. They're so done that even Kos has quit using them.
If you think saying that's "hate", fine with me.
Words mean what the Queen says they mean around here, anyway.
9.15.2008 10:03am
Steve P. (mail):
Unsurprisingly, I once again agree with Professor Cross. Methinks thou doth protest too much, commenters.
9.15.2008 1:57pm
MQuinn:
Richard Aubrey:

Boy. You really don't want to know what I think.

Your point re the Kos was not my reference point regarding hate. It was the above quote, obviously. Thus, your previous suggestion that your Kos statement is not "hate" misses the mark.

have already been so debunked that even Kos isn't peddling them any longer.

This is barely relevant. However, if you can not prove that the Kos is far less accurate than your average political blog, it becomes wholly irrelevant. I think that you probably can prove that, but you never attempted to, nor will you, and thus this point adds nothing real or meaningful to the debate. Instead, you threw it in there as a cheap, unsubstantiated shot at your political nemeses, and that is the only effectiveness it has.

a number of things which have already been so debunked

Like what? This is a mere conclusory statement. I can say this about every post, but it doesn't make it true. Please elaborate. Of course, it is possible that you can make this showing. However, that doesn't change the fact that your post lacked substance; instead, it was a collection of unproven statements, conclusory statements, or insults.

That is, it lacked substance.
9.15.2008 4:56pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"The commenters are an astoundingly closed minded, disrespectful bunch. Who apparently want to live in a closed minded echo chamber."

I'd suggest Mr. Korobkin set the tone for the discussion in his initial post. That initial post is not something worthy of much respect. It is close minded, disrespectful, and similar to much of what we see in partisan echo chambers.

Perhaps some know Mr. Korobkin as an accomplished professional whose achievements merit great respect. However, the initial post is not something one would expect of such an individual.
9.15.2008 5:36pm
LM (mail):
Elliot123:

"The commenters are an astoundingly closed minded, disrespectful bunch. Who apparently want to live in a closed minded echo chamber."

I'd suggest Mr. Korobkin set the tone for the discussion in his initial post.

Even if the latter is true (I think there's some truth to it), how does it negate the former? We're on Eugene's website. Every page displays his policy on what kind of comments we're invited to leave, and what kind we're not. There's nothing there about "unless the blogger sets a disrespectful tone."
9.15.2008 7:08pm
Elliot123 (mail):
It doesn't negate the former. I agree the posting policy does not provide a sliding scale based on the initial poster's adherence to the same policy.

My observation is that a disrespectful, close minded initial post from the echo chamber of partisanship invites the same type of response. Most initial posters are sufficiently reponsible that they follow the guidelines. Others are not.
9.15.2008 8:03pm
Careless:

I'm so glad to see so conservative suddenly concerned about 'experience' for the White House. Back in 2000, Al Gore was clearly more experienced that Gov. Bush was for the White House, but I guess experience wasn't an issue back then, was it? Otherwise, we would surely have seen all these Republicans voting for the most experience man, which would have been Gore, right?

Oh no. Experience only matters when it favors *your* candidate. Otherwise, it doesn't matter at all.

Randy, no one is arguing that the candidate with the most experience is the best. Some people are arguing that Obama or Palin (or McCain/Biden) don't have enough experience. Yes, there are certainly a lot of people who only care about experience when it helps their candidate, but your argument is poorly thought out and badly flawed.
9.16.2008 12:53am
LM (mail):
Will the commenters above who savaged Prof. Korobkin for pointing out what Sarah Palin has now candidly admitted, i.e., that she had never hear of the Bush Doctrine, return to apologize or amend their remarks?
9.16.2008 3:41pm
LM (mail):
Elliot123,

I agree, except with your implication that the blogger is merely the first commenter, and thus subject to the same guidelines we are.
9.16.2008 3:48pm
A.W. (mail):
LM

Btw, please tell me you are smart enough to know that palin blog is a fake.
9.16.2008 6:14pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"I agree, except with your implication that the blogger is merely the first commenter, and thus subject to the same guidelines we are."

Well, no need for an implication. I will state that the principals at the VC who create the initial posts are bound by the same guidelines as subsequent commenters. This means Mr. Korobkin has a responsibility to insure his initial posts are in accord with those guidelines.

Mr. Korobkin failed to follow the guidelines and posted a disrespectful, close minded initial post from the echo chamber of partisanship. He violated the standards just as subsequent commenters violated them.

I will be very interested to hear from any VC principal that their initial posts are exempt from the guidelines.
9.16.2008 7:44pm
LM (mail):
A.W.,

Btw, please tell me you are smart enough to know that palin blog is a fake.

Why? There's nothing on that blog that isn't confirmed by the video? Two sources is pretty much irrefutable proof, isn't it?

No, I assume that spoof isn't trying to fool anyone. The type I fall for are, "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction" or, to be fair, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
9.16.2008 9:55pm
LM (mail):
Elliot123,

Well, no need for an implication. I will state that the principals at the VC who create the initial posts are bound by the same guidelines as subsequent commenters. This means Mr. Korobkin has a responsibility to insure his initial posts are in accord with those guidelines.

I don't think that's right, but I'd love to hear the bloggers' take on it too. As I understand it, the comment policy applies to our dialog with each other and the blogger about his post. In that context, it doesn't exclude anything that would otherwise be civil. But the blogger needs leeway to be more personal than that when he blogs about a person. I don't think it would be uncivil to say in a blog post, "Personally, I don't like "X." He rubs me the wrong way, and I don't believe a word he says." Without backing it up, it might not be persuasive, but I don't think it's inappropriate for an opinion piece. On the other hand, the same statement would be rude and would certainly breach the comment policy if directed at the blogger or any of the commenters.

As I said above, I agree with you to some extent about this post. It was partisan and more strident than it needed to be. So it was predictable that at this moment on this website it would elicit the kind of reaction it did. To the extent Prof. Korobkin wouldn't have wanted that reaction, he probably should have known better. But not only doesn't that justify the reaction (as you agreed); it doesn't make the post and the reaction moral equivalents.
9.16.2008 10:57pm
Annonymous Coward:

This is Prof. Korobkin's blog, his house in effect. . .


I think he is more of an absentee landlord.
9.17.2008 5:03pm