One of the most frustrating things about recent political campaigns has been how good Republicans are at reducing complex questions into sound bites that favor their position and divert attention away from reality. Probably that explains why they chose Sarah Palin as the running mate to John McCaine , they thought of her as just another sound (visual) bite. Fortunately for us all, she turned out to be “all hat, no cattle”, as the saying goes.
Today I got a wingnut e-mail featuring this photo:
I'm Going Republican - Republican Looker
Democrats have some lookers, too...
Followed by a series of unflattering images of women Democrats (one of whom looked a lot like Margaret Thatcher – I thought she was a Reagan Reactionary).
That picture does make her look pretty attractive. I can see why so many of those old goats got aroused, some at the contrast with their wives who probably look a lot more like the Democrat Lookers than this hottie with a gun: That one was not part of the e-mail; I found it while researching Sarah Palin, the Glamour Girl who turned out to be the last straw for McCain’s presidential aspirations.
An interesting aside, I also found an article in Slate that explains how she happened to get picked - Sarah Palin, Web Invention:
The hype can probably be traced to the Web site of a 21-year-old college senior* majoring in political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Adam Brickley, a political buff who will graduate in May, started a "Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President" blog last year and has relentlessly promoted the idea ever since.
Brickley has never been to Alaska or met Palin. But while researching potential vice presidents, he stumbled on Palin and thought she would be a good No. 2 to just about all of the major Republican candidates in the race at the time. … The "Draft Palin" movement picked up momentum in more mainstream media, including a column last summer by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Others followed, including talk over the past couple weeks from conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. [Actually, Limbaugh's been chatting up Palin since February 2008; Brickley created his blog in February 2007, during his junior* year, a mere two months after Palin assumed the governorship. Click here to see him talk up Palin this past May on YouTube.]
So there you have it, the true story of how a college boy’s wet dream became John McCain’s nightmare.
My least favorite successful sound bite: death tax.
The inheritance tax came about because of the traditional American determination to have no aristocrats here to rule due to inherited wealth. It was the same impulse that created the graduated income tax.
The concept is simple, America will be the land of unlimited opportunity, make as much money as you can and earn the high praise that comes from high achievement. But in exchange for this unlimited opportunity, and in order to keep the playing field somewhat level, excessive earnings will be taxed at ever increasing rates. And if you have a large estate at the time of your death, America will tax away a large part of that as well.
Of course the children of wealth never really started at the same level as the rest of us, just being brought up among the power elite and attending the best schools and getting large boosts from daddy’s attempt to deprive the inheritance tax man gave them a tremendous head start. But the steeply graduated income tax and the inheritance tax helped. And they also provided much needed revenue to help pay the bills.