Dispatch from Hot Springs

I spoke today at a meeting of the Garland County Republican Women in Hot Springs. I can confirm that they are excited about John McCain.

However, they are really, really excited about Sarah Palin.

The group spontaneously erupted in applause when I noted that McCain has chosen a capable, effective, conservative woman for his running mate.

During the question and answer period, several were interested in why Barack Obama and Joe Biden are going after Palin so aggressively. It is, after all, more than a little unusual for the presidential and vice-presidential nominees to train their fire on the opposing vice-presidential candidate. I don’t have any special knowledge about this, but I hazarded a guess that, throughout history, women who are beautiful and strong have a remarkable ability to make men go completely nuts. The group liked this theory.

Although it’s not just men who are going nuts. I see on the Arkansas Times blog that they have reposted portions from leftist Katha Pollitt’s Nation article about questions that Palin should be asked “if Palin were allowed to speak to the press.”

Curiously, Palin will be speaking to the press (and the nation) starting this evening by means of a long series of ABC News interviews over the rest of this week. But readers of the Arkansas Times know that that publication typically values ersatz and feigned outrage more highly than boring and pedestrian qualities like journalistic accuracy.

Anyway, here’s a question that, according to Pollitt, really ought to be put to Sarah Palin: “Approximately how old is the earth? Five thousand years? 10,000? 5 billion?”

It’s my guess that most public officials will somehow struggle along even without the slightest idea about the correct answer to this question. I guess I need to think harder about how Palin’s opinion on the crucial age-of-the-earth issue could possibly affect any action she might ever take as vice-president or even president — because, right now, I sure don’t see it.

Bonus fun link: Sarah Palin rumor watch.

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11 thoughts on “Dispatch from Hot Springs

  • September 11, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Those questions weren’t posed for reasonable responses. The left already “knows” the answers, has only contempt for other’s views and shouts them down.

    For instance a global warming cause other that green house gasses is well supported by serious research. In fact, the men who discovered the 1500 year climate cycle from drilled out ice cores at different ends of the earth, won the Tyler prize in 1984. The Tyler prize is the Noble prize for climatology. The cause of global warming is still debated (most likely sun spot related) but it has clearly been occuring in a 1500 year interval for past 12,000 years and some research indicates it goes back for 1 million years. Obviously, this eliminates man-made green house gasses as a cause.

    When asked those kinds of questions by the biased left, I suggest that Gov. Palin respond that “what they are shouts so loudly that she couldn’t hear what they said”.

  • September 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    So is this a qualified candidate to get excited about Dan. Here she is casually invoking the spectre of nuclear war:

    GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

    PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.

    I’d really like your reply Dan on why we should vote for someone willing to risk the incineration of you, me, your children, and everything else over South Ossettia?

  • September 11, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Jeff Smithpeters has asked me (assuming I am interpreting his question correctly) why we should consider voting for someone who endorses extending NATO membership to Georgia.

    I personally have doubts about extending NATO membership as a general matter. But I don’t think there is a major-party candidate who shares these qualms. Both Senator Obama and Senator Biden are on record as sharing the desire of Governor Palin to extend NATO membership to Georgia.





    In short, if you can’t bring yourself to vote for someone who favors NATO membership expansion to Georgia, you’ll either have to find a third-party candidate to support or stay away from the voting booth this November.

  • September 12, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Good points, Dan. I did not realize Obama/Biden supported extending NATO to Georgia as well.

    To me, this story is much ado about nothing. Gibson’s question really did not need to be asked because anyone who understands how NATO works knows that if a member nation is invaded by a nonmember nation, the other member nations are obligated to help in their defense. That is basically the whole point of NATO.

    I wish Gov. Palin had replied that she would be willing to consider Georgia joining NATO rather than saying for sure she would support it and in response to Gibson’s question as to whether she would defend a Georgia if invaded by Russia, I wish she had simply replied “Charlie, the United States has consistently supported our obligations under the NATO agreement since 1949 and I don’t plan to change that now.”

  • September 12, 2008 at 8:53 am

    The reason NATO exists is to PREVENT war. The geo-political purpose of forming alliances is to make war against small countries too costly for aggressive, totalitarian dictators to wage. NATO is a peace keeping alliance and the more members in NATO, the greater likelilhood for a peaceful Europe.

    The media and Jeff Smithpeters and perhaps Dan Greenberg need to go back and review their International Relations textbook from Freshman year college.

  • September 12, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I support including Georgia in NATO, but I understand the concern others may have. Just because an organization exists for a specific reason, it doesn’t mean that things necessarily work that way.

    When you get down to it NATO is a military alliance. Article 4 of the NATO Treaty of 1949 states that all of the countries should be consulted when territorial integrity of one country is threatened. The next article affirms that an attack on one country is an attack on all.

    If we relate this to Georgia, not only was Georgia attacked but soon there after its territorial integrity was threatened, and continues to be. I don’t know what the situation would be like if Georgia was a member of NATO. Maybe Russia would have thought twice about their actions. I hope they would have. But as Russia becomes more beligerant can we really predict their actions? Would they have invaded Georgia anyway to test the resolve of NATO? Then if it looked like NATO was going to act, they simply back out? Personally that would be my guess.

    NATO’s goal is to avoid conflict and to use diplomatic and other means to resolve conflict. However we should be aware that including countries in NATO who have shaky relations with Russia or other countries increase the risk of conflict for NATO and does not decrease it. Regardless of how many courses in International Relations you may have taken this should be obvious. Including Georgia into NATO does not increase NATO’s security but actually puts the alliance at greater risk for conflict.

    While I disagree with Jeff I certainly understand his position. I too like Dan have my own doubts, but I currently still support including Georgia in NATO.

  • September 12, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I understand your concern. However, it is based on the assumption (and perhaps accurate assumption) that NATO would blink if Russia invaded Georgia.

    Russia should not feel like they could test NATO. NATO’s strength and deterrance only exist if Russia and other aggressors feel like NATO will abide by Article 4. NATO needs to be strengthened not weakened.

  • September 12, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I agree. Like I said, I support Georgia joining NATO. I just don’t know that it necessarily strengthens NATO.

  • September 12, 2008 at 10:20 am

    This is an interesting analysis; however, the bottom line here is Gov. Palin’s “mistake,” if she made one, was to actually answer the question instead of the artful dodge. However, if she had dodged the question, I am sure we would be discussing how she wimped out.

  • September 12, 2008 at 10:39 am

    U.S. foreign policy ought to be based the best interests of the U.S. Giving Georgia membership into NATO is not in our national interest.

  • September 12, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Giving Georgia membership into NATO may not be in our national interest. However would it be in our national interest for Russia to continue to increase its reign of influence farther into Eastern Europe?

    I believe one of the reasons Russia did what it did was to discourage Georgia from joining NATO as well as to pressure Ukraine refrain as well.

    Palin’s thoughts on this really matter little to me. If Washington “foreign policy experts” can’t agree on it, why would we knock Palin for picking one side or the other.


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