Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


A Tale of Two Rallies

Two rallies were held this weekend in Alaska.  One, for the McCain-Palin ticket.  The other: Obama-Biden.

Which one got more support by about a four-to-one margin?


Gov. Sarah Palin – She really does make things up as she goes along

The image of Gov. Sarah Palin being promoted by the McCain campaign is of a straight-shooter who talks truth to power. The true image is of a person who lies repeatedly, even after being called out for her lies.

The Vice-Presidential debate offered more examples of her ability to lie with a straight face. All politicians obfuscate during debates and frequently misstate their opponent’s position. But, not all of them make up lies as they go along. Gov. Palin did that at least twice during Thursday’s debate.

One of the lies, about post-surge troop levels in Iraq, could have been caused by lack of knowledge on the part of Palin, but the other, about divestment of investments in Sudan, was a pure unadultrated prevarication.

The Palin Drag Chute

With four weeks to go, John McCain still can’t draw a crowd by himself and the person who can fill a stadium – Sarah Palin – scares everyone who isn’t madly in love with her.

Isn’t she the American Everywoman?  Isn’t she the Classic Military Mom?  Isn’t she Maverick coming to save the day?

Apparently, she’s none of the above.

Shotgun Weddings and the Politics of Desperation

We know that John McCain is perfectly willing to use the economic crisis to advance his political interests, but is he willing to use a 17-year old girl?

In a campaign lurching from cynical tactic to frenzied ploy as fast as John McCain’s, it’s difficult to guess what tomorrow’s political news holds. The senator has now fully committed himself to the kinds of reckless, desperate tactics that have given pause to even steadfast conservatives. How a presidential candidate conducts his campaign is a good indicator of how he will govern his country when in office, and in the conduct of his campaign in the past month we’ve been given a perfect illustration of why John McCain is the worst possible thing for America at the moment.

When a campaign tries to tilt the pinball machine as often as possible, there’s almost no point in trying to guess what strategy will come next. So far these maneuvers almost seem to have been chosen more for unpredictability than political prudence. Not many of us would have guessed that McCain would try to cancel the first debate, and all indications are that it was a risky gambit that did not pay off. The frantic accusations that the New York Times is “not even a journalistic organization” might play well with the GOP base, but I suspect don’t even pass the laugh test among the critical undecided voters McCain is trying to court. He and Palin are rapidly becoming a laughingstock and for once, the media is doing its job, calling out their lies and refusing to defer to the usual false balance that is the central linchpin of the Rovian media strategy. The referees have finally realized that they are being worked, and they don’t like it.

The London Times is reporting on what I think has a very good potential to be the next bizarre twist in this story: A high-profile storybook wedding between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one – the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancĂ© before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”


Johnston was greeted with a handshake and friendly slap on the back by McCain in St Paul, Minnesota, and treated as a member of the family during the Republican national convention when he appeared on stage after Palin’s speech.

The ice-hockey player wrote on his MySpace page he was a “f****** redneck” and stated, “I don’t want kids.” But a McCain insider predicted he would marry Bristol whenever his future mother-in-law wanted. “It’s a shotgun wedding. She kills things,” the source joked.

A few post-debate thoughts and poll analysis – mostly good news [UPDATED 9/28]

There seems to be a disconnect between the way the pundits and the politically active class saw the debate and the way the average viewer saw it.

Since I’m in the politically active class, I definitely had a different take on it than the other people who were watching it with me. McCain exceeded my expectations, given his actions of late on the campaign trail. Obama, on the other hand, came across as the man I’ve come to respect and admire over the long course of this election cycle. I fell into a trap, because of those views.

Because Obama came across the way I expected, he gained no points from me for performance, while McCain did better than expected. This boosted McCain in my view. Uncommitted voters saw it differently.

Parsing the CBS post-debate poll (pdf) of uncommitted voters shows some interesting findings.

Pre-(?)Debate Open Thread

Happy Friday, Folks!

It is less than nine hours to the first Presidential Debate as I write this, an event that will (or won’t) be watched by what has been forecast to be 100M people and will (or won’t) be the first chance for Americans and the world to hear how the two (or one) Presidential candidates handle direct questions together (or alone).  3,000 journalists are gathered in Mississippi wondering what they will reporting on.


The “Bailout” deal is (or isn’t) coming together, House Republicans are (or are not) planning their own Palace Coup and banks are (are) still going under.

Prepare to speak liberally.

McCain Detonates the “Bailout” Negotiations

A late-night emergency session of the committee trying to negotiate a solution to the liquidity problem plaguing the economy came to a crashing halt tonight.  With John McCain back in DC, the House Republican caucus has rebeled against the President and McCain.  At this meeting tonight, the House Republicans sent a representative unauthorized to negotiate to the meeting (Spencer Bacchus) with a one-sheet whitepaper of “principles and general ideals” that included a Capital Gains tax-cut, increased banking deregulations and mortgage insurance that Henry Paulson has already stated to be a non-starter.


The meeting has fallen completely apart, there is another tomorrow at 11:30am ET which will not include House Republicans, and will therefore have no impact whatsoever.

CNN and MSNBC provided breaking coverage of the detonation of the talks, FOX is rerunning footage of McCain and Bill Clinton together at the Clinton Foundation.