McCain gets angry. Palin gets even. Pinched, will they pay the piper?

McCain’s angry outbursts have been reported by members of Congress for years. But he has remained popular with them. There are no comparable reports of such behavior by Palin, but she does have a pattern of getting even when she’s been crossed. Now McCain’s rhetoric has inflamed crowds so much he’s been forced to defend Obama. Palin’s crafted image as a reformer has been tarnished by troopergate [which we just learned is hardly over (LINK)]. They pushed the limits and they’ve been pinched, McCain by public outrage and Palin by Alaska justice. Now will they pay the piper?

As a high school basketball player Sarah Palin earned the nickname barracuda. In a rough and tumble sport anger is easily acted out, and generally acceptable when channeled into aggressive play, as long as too many fouls aren’t called.

Politics is often a rough and tumble game too.

Someone with the disposition of John McCain may get angry, become temporarily unhinged, and express it by yelling and finger jabbing. But if they are going to get ahead and have the respect of their colleagues, as Senator McCain has, they must demonstrate that they can calm down and get back to conducting themselves with a modicum of collegiality.

Unfortunately McCain has had a tin ear to the hateful comments shouted out by members of the crowds at his rallies.

He basked in the roar of the crowd without grasping the reason. This was his need and I fault him for not recognizing that his own rhetoric and the language from Palin, surrogates, and advertising was stoking the worst impulses of some of his supporters.

A man is given considerable leeway in how he expresses anger. A woman isn’t.

When Sarah Palin became mayor of Wasilla she began to demonstrate her proclivity to express her anger in a more feminine way: “don’t get mad, get even” seemed to be her operating principle.

We all know about her attempts to intimidate the town librarian, ironic for a woman who later couldn’t easily answer which newspapers she read on a regular basis.

It is more telling that the two people she did fire were heads of law enforcement agencies, and both seem to have incurred her wrath.

As mayor of Wasilla she fired the local police chief, Iri Stambaugh, she said for failing to help her govern. He had publicly supported her opponent in the mayoral race. Some in Wasilla claimed it was an act of veneance.

By all indications this is a woman who gets her way in many instances because she doesn’t have to use bluster and in your face intimidation. She knows the fear she can instill in those who would think twice about thwarting her because of her well earned reputation for using her power to exact revenge against those who become her enemies.

Now with the report of the investigation of troopergate we see she carried this practice into the governor’s office.

The McCain campaign predictably is grasping at the straws and putting the best possible spin on this. One of the rationalizations was so ludicrous I couldn’t believe it was proffered.

Palin’s attorney Thomas Van Flein said that “in order to violate the ethics law, there has to be some personal gain, usually financial. Mr. Branchflower (the special investigator) has failed to identify any financial gain.”

Of course many politicians violate ethics laws for financial gain, but Palin’s pattern shows she has used power to exact revenge which under any reasonable definition is personal gain, and this is the part of the ethics law she is accused of violating.

Whether Palin’s acolytes are so smitten with her they will ignore half the story remains to be seen. Part one: as the news keeps reporting accurately, technically she was legally in her rights to fire the public safety director. Score one for Palin. Part two: she broke ethics laws.

I have my doubts if many of her supporters give a damn.



Wikipedia Commons

Afterthought: It is interesting to read the descriptions made in this commentary from a resident of Wasilla: “About Sarah Palin: an e-mail from Wasilla: A suburban Anchorage homemaker and activist — who once did battle with the Alaska governor when Palin was mayor — recounts what she knows of Palin’s history.”
It describes the “real” Sarah Palin as quite consistent with the picture that has emerged of her in the past few weeks and days. Here’s two excerpts:

(1) Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys.” Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the city and as governor, she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal — loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the state’s top cop.

(2) She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town, introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal city administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.


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19 Responses to "McCain gets angry. Palin gets even. Pinched, will they pay the piper?"

  1. Hal Brown  October 13, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Arab question…

    Here’s an interview with the woman who McCain corrected when she said Obama was an Arab.

    She’s hasn’t changed her mind.

  2. refgdude  October 13, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Hmmm…me thinks it may be time for a visit from Osama. I’d say within the next 10 days, right on cue. Just like in 2004 when he magically appeared, right before the election. Hal, my guess is that Osama is dead and has been for many years. When I play that scenario, it fits all stories too comfortably. If you don’t hear from me again you can assume I was plucked off the streets on my way to breakfast, never to be seen or heard from again.
    The RefgDude

  3. Harve3  October 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Look for a false flag “terror” attack on an American City small enough to put under total martial law by North Com’s new thug brigade. Some city of 250,000 people or so, and subsequent cancellation of the election. Tie the “terror” attack in some fashion to Barack Obama.

    Speaking of “false flag attacks” might’n the outcries at McCain events be from ACORN-affliliated volunteers who’ve met their quota of fraudulent voter registrations? Elsewhere on this website there are posts asserting the incumbent administration organized and executed the attacks of 11SEP’01 ; totally reprehensible, yet we scold McCain/Palin for invoking the terrorism of William Ayers, respected professor of education?

    Hill Country Weisenheimer

  4. ekaton  October 11, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Look for a false flag “terror” attack on an American City small enough to put under total martial law by North Com’s new thug brigade. Some city of 250,000 people or so, and subsequent cancellation of the election. Tie the “terror” attack in some fashion to Barack Obama.

    Think this is far fetched? How about 19 Arabs, mostly from Saudi Arabia learning to fly airliners, with more skill than a navy fighter pilot can fly an F-18, and crashing them into the world trade center and the pentagon. Now THAT is far fetched.

    — Kent Shaw

  5. Rob Kezelis  October 11, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Hal, you put your finger exactly on the issue.

  6. Malibu  October 11, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Very well done, Mr. Brown. Why do I see Dick Cheney when I listen to or watch Governor Palin? I can envision closed doors, private phones and emails and a lot of glamour following her through the days. Dick Cheney was “Mr. Macho Man” and the Palin is “The Sexy Beauty Queen.” It is no coincidence that both are Republicans. Nothing is ever as presented by this political party. They want their leadership image in front of the people at all times with their team of religious followers trailing as apostles everywhere they go. They simply learn how to cover each other’s asses and hope nobody notices.

    After watching many of Sen. McCain’s audience reactions to Gov. Palin, I fear for Sen.Obama’s life. These are not rational voters but riled up growling animals just waiting for a much needed win in November.

    My concern is with President Bush. He cannot let Senator Obama win and I fear he could pull a terrible attack on America just before the election. I hope I’m wrong but in the last 20 years, I have learned never to underestimate the Republican Party.

    Malcolm

  7. zuzumamu  October 11, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Palin’s fans will not give one iota about the charges in Alaska. As I stated in my own blog, Palin has reduced John McCain’s crowds to the bottom feeders of this society. Or, as Barack put it, “bitter people clinging to guns and religion”. That IS exactly what they are, and McCain knows it.He is finally embarrassed but too thirsty for cheers to really give up the “tactic”.I hold him entirely responsible.
    Decent Republicans, and there are a few left, denounce McCain’s entire campaign as repulsive and shoddy.He is left staring at uneducated, misinformed Americans, ones who have missed the boat for generations, and too buried in their oppressive lot in society to question how exactly they got there..angry and stupid, like the frightened losers in Germany that carried Hitler to power in the 30’s.
    Fortunately, as one can see even with the tight close shots by tv cameras, the crowds are smaller and smaller~ but it only takes one riled loser clinging to religion and guns to take down one of the finer political minds to come along in a generation.
    Americans have seen and decided, that John McCain’s campaign is a campaign of hate and division, and they’ve, we’ve, had quite enough of that.Like Barack says, John McCain, just doesn’t get it.

  8. Hal Brown  October 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Godwin, Goodwin, and Zuzumamu…

    Before someone hits zuzumamu for an early digression into Godwin’s Law, I want to mention that none less an eminent historian than Doris Kearns Goodwin brought this up last night on The Rachel Maddow Show in the very same context.

    Powerful. Sobering. It’s downright scary coming from the ever cheerful DKG.

    Maddow: Is there, um, tons of precedent for the kind of venom we’re seeing right now on the campaign trail and I’m just forgetting it? Because it seems very extreme to me.

    Goodwin: No I’m afraid there is some precedent and it’s pretty scary at one level. I mean, you think about the 1930s, when economic anxiety was even deeper than it is now worldwide, and that anxiety turned to rage in Europe, and what you saw was scapegoating Jews. You saw Hitler come into power in Europe…

  9. ekaton  October 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    “Or, as Barack put it, “bitter people clinging to guns and religion”. That IS exactly what they are, and McCain knows it.”

    There are two really excellent works available if one wants to gain some insight as to why poor working people keep voting against their own interests by voting republican. They are:

    “What’s The Matter With Kansas” by Thomas Frank, and
    “Deer Hunting With Jesus” by Joe Bageant

    Either will open your eyes.

    — Kent Shaw

  10. Harve3  October 11, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing the rantings of the noted plagiarist: DKG.

    Hill Country Weisenheimer

  11. CheckerboardStrangler  October 12, 2008 at 1:40 am

    You’re welcome.
    Now please explain why the DULY NOTED noted plagiarism has anything to do with the theory she advanced while a guest on the above-mentioned TV show.

    Did she plagiarize her theory about economically fueled desperation being the backdrop for Hitler’s rise to power, or are you waiting for another pundit to advance a similarly pessimistic view before you weigh in, because I don’t think I’d have very much trouble finding alternates on both sides of the American political spectrum who will support Goodwin’s assertion, either mildly or aggressively.
    If the Fed decides to try to demonitize the dollar and place us on an electronic cashless system, one which gets a sudden series of “numerical recalibrations”, do you expect the angry crowds to check someone’s plagiarism record before they start searching for a scapegoat?

  12. zuzumamu  October 12, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Sorry Hal..really wasn’t comparing McCain to Hitler at all, just noting the similarity in crowd reaction. I guess Congressman Lewis’s comparison today, to George Wallace’s inciting racial violence in the South is more appropriate?

  13. Hal Brown  October 12, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Please, let’s not get totally off-track by responding to posts that appear designed to lead us to do just that. Anybody can Google Goodwin and find an unbiased reputable website to read up on her.

    There’s a fine line between posts that are meant to inform readers about someone’s credibility or bias and meant to disrupt the flow of discussion with side issues, generally called thread hijacking.

    If I find someone posts along the lines of the later I will begin to delete their posts. There is no place on this comment thread for someone who wants to be the wisenheimer.

  14. Harve3  October 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Now please explain why the DULY NOTED noted plagiarism has anything to do with the theory she advanced while a guest on the above-mentioned TV show.

    Because like the man who got kicked by a jackass: “you just have to consider the source and move on”. The discussion really doesn’t benefit from failed historians equating 2008 USA with 1933 Weimar except for the opportunity to compare Republicans Bush, McCain & Palin with Natiional Socialist Adolph Hitler.

    Did she plagiarize her theory about economically fueled desperation being the backdrop for Hitler’s rise to power, or are you waiting for another pundit to advance a similarly pessimistic view before you weigh in, because I don’t think I’d have very much trouble finding alternates on both sides of the American political spectrum who will support Goodwin’s assertion, either mildly or aggressively.

    Only someone completely ignorant of the facts could compare 2008 USA with 1933 Weimar, which is precisely that segment of the electorate to whom DKG appeals with her ill-informed historical references. OBTW, have you been able to find a couple of references in support of DKG’s assertions? TIA.

    If the Fed decides to try to demonitize the dollar and place us on an electronic cashless system, one which gets a sudden series of “numerical recalibrations”, do you expect the angry crowds to check someone’s plagiarism record before they start searching for a scapegoat?

    Who’s benzedrine nightmare produced this scare story? FWIW, this correspondent doesn’t expect angry crowds to be checking DKG’s plagiarism before they start searching for a scapegoat since all well-informed folks know it is the fault of the Bush*tlerburton/Cheney Cabal.

    Hill Country Weisenheimer

  15. Hal Brown  October 12, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Zuzu, neither was Doris Kearns Goodwin, she was talking about inciting crowds with hatred and demonizing a group, and giving a historic example of ultimately where that can lead.

    Here’s someone else who brought up Nazi history:

    What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin.

    That’s Frank Rich in today’s New York Times, in an OpEd titled “The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama” (LINK)”. He dares to write about the “a word”. I can’t remember another Frank Rich OpEd written with such intensity. I urge all to read it.

    Obviously not everybody got the message from McCain that this was unacceptable. Consider what a pastor said at his rally in Davenport, Iowa yesterday delivering the invocation. He didn’t mention Jews, but that isn’t relevant, and besides McCain needs Jewish voters, but we know how many people think Obama worships Allah.

    I would also pray Lord that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their God — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his [McCain’s] opponent wins for a variety of reasons.

    And Lord I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you would step forward and honor your own name in all that happens between now and Election Day.

    Oh Lord, we just commit this time to you, move among us, make your presence very well felt as we are gathered here today in Jesus’s name I pray.

    Some in the crowd greeted the prayer with applause.

    According to an article in the L.A. Times “Some in the crowd greeted the prayer with applause.”

    Is it typical for people to applaud after prayers?

  16. Hal Brown  October 12, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Added posting rules:

    Thread hijacking and trolling is not permitted.

    “Thread hijacking in internet forum communication is the act of steering a discussion off-topic by discussing a subject entirely unrelated to the subject at hand. While this can be an intentional act of trolling, it is often accidental – caused by participants in the discussion responding to a throwaway remark, thus taking the thread off at a tangent to the original subject matter. The results often provoke a feeling of resentment from the author of the original post.”

    “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.” (Wikipedia)

    Attempts to sidetrack thread discussion is often subtle, so I will judge each on a case by case basis taking into consideration prior posting history and give the poster one or two warnings. If they persist, subsequent posts will be deleted if they have any hint of trying to subvert the subject of the discussion.

  17. Hal Brown  October 12, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Troopergate not over –

    We learn today from Newsweek the following:

    Some weeks ago, the McCain team devised a plan to have Palin file an ethics complaint against herself with the State Personnel Board, arguing that it alone was capable of conducting a fair, nonpartisan inquiry into whether she fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten, who had been involved in a messy custody battle with her sister. Some Democrats ridiculed the move, noting that the personnel board answered to Palin. But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin’s 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles. Palin is now scheduled to be questioned next week, and the counsel’s report could be released soon after. “We took a gamble when we went to the personnel board,” said a McCain aide who asked not to be identified discussing strategy. While the McCain camp still insists Palin “has nothing to hide,” it acknowledges a critical finding by Petumenos would be even harder to dismiss. Read artticle.

    Ouch.

  18. b kenneth mcgee  October 12, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I am a seventy-seven year old white male. My fathaer told me from my early youth…..”Kenneth…whom the Gods would destroy..they would first make angry”

    John McCain will destroy himself.

  19. Timr  October 12, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Hal, the oped in the NYT brings up something else that I saw today-sorry, I can’t link to it, I tried and it seems to have disappeared-anyway, here goes. A person in the higher levels of the republician party in CA has stated that serious discussions are currently underway about dumping Palin either before during or later in the week of the next debate, and replacing her with Romney. That, I believe would be a real gamechanger and just might enable McCain to win. Sure the extreme right wing red meat republicians would be very p.o.’d, but who else they got? It would bring back the more central wing of the party and would have great appeal to the independents. What would McCain give as a reason? I can think of several. She quits because her family needs her more. She is dumped because she has gone to far and is becoming more divisive every time she speaks. She has injected racism into the campaign. Just as Obama threw the Rev Wright under the bus after he caused major problems, so should McCain throw Palin under the bus. Best reason. Because of the worldwide economic meltdown it has become necessary to have a VP who not only understands the economy, but has succeeded in several different difficult positions. Of course Palin, being way out of the loop, could find out about it while watching the debate. It could happen. McCain is a gambler who would bet everything on one throw and he really doesn’t have any other gamechanger to hand. The former rumor that the wedding of Palins preggers daughter would move the entire MSM into a all Palin all the time for a couple of weeks would now appear, because of the meltdown, to be of no interest to the “people”. As I see it, this would really be McCains only chance-barring a (knock on wood) major domestic terrorist attack- to actually pull out a win in Nov. BTW, I also read something very similar in TMV earlier today. Do I believe that the rumor has any substance? Very good question. I don’t know. I am totally unfamiliar with the inner workings of any political campaign, but I would think that the idea has been at least brought up, unless of course the entire McCain campaign actually believes their own spin.
    Note: Palin appeared at a NHL game to drop the first puck. I saw 2 different pieces of film. From fns there was very little sound as she walked out on the ice with her very young daughter, from a different news source all that is heard are very loud and long BOOOS. Interesting.fns edited the film and said that she received a “mixed” response from the crowd. This took place at a Philadelphia Flyers game. The Flyers lost.

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