Jarring’s One Word For It (Wouldna Found This Even Believable 4 Yrs Ago)

One jarring revelation in which the movie reaches beyond the book comes when Schmidt makes a query to assess nominee Palin’s awareness of foreign affairs, asking McCain’s VP pick how she would respond in the White House to news of waning British support for the war in Iraq.

The Palin character, sitting opposite Schmidt in a campaign bus, says McCain would “continue to have an open dialogue” with the queen of England on the subject. Flabbergasted, the Schmidt character informs her the queen is not the head of government. Palin asks who is. He informs her that the country has a prime minister.

Strong said he uncovered that additional episode during the 25 interviews he conducted with principals from Team McCain. Schmidt confirmed the account.

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15 comments on “Jarring’s One Word For It (Wouldna Found This Even Believable 4 Yrs Ago)

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  1. You might have thought it was par for the course had you not been stuck in what you now rightfully refer to as “the conservative nuthouse” for the years just prior to that. Of course, the thing nuts have going for them is that they’re less morally responsible for their actions. I hold liberals, including myself, more accountable for everything being the way it is on a political level.

    • I would have found it incredible that Palin really could be that ignorant, and would have guessed that some passing exchange was being willfully misinterpreted and blown out of proporition – a sarcastic remark or stray misstatement treated as though actually intended and representative of a state of knowledge. At one point, IIRC, she is supposed to have seemed to think that Africa was a “country.” I thought it more likely, and still think it’s possible, that she made a slip of the tongue during high-pressure debate preparations, or that some other exchange was turned by those hostile to her into something it really wasn’t. Yet by now, after having seen her prove and prove again that her critics were justified in their suspicions of what she represented or would come to represent, I find the alternative view – in short, that she was and is kind of an idiot, in no way qualified for high office unless you presume that no office is worthy of respect – more persuasive.

  2. There’s a problem with that, Schueneman and Beigun, were her briefers at the time of the debate, who spoke up for her,not Schmidt, who spread these stories anonymously along to fools like Halperin and Heileman. The particular ‘Africa’ story came from a comic and hack, Gorlin, who spread similar stories, One notes there are no source notes in Game Change,

  3. Now mind you, a third string player from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ finds he can raise his status, by spreading this political trash, whereas Obama has no blemish in the whole of that tome, someone who came to power by challenging the ballots of all his opponents, leaking the divorce records of his primary opponents, well I suppose that is hardball, of a sort,

  4. That actually happened, the former Chairman of the Senate Relations Committee, actually did a flub of enormous proportion,
    the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, got the start of the Depression, wrong, FDR on the TV in 1929, as President
    and it didn’t matter.

    • Yes, it actually happened that he misspoke on national TV, and furthermore it’s generally recognized that in fact he has a tendency to misspeak, but it’s also generally held not to be his main mode of interacting with the universe, nor particularly reflective of his actual state of knowledge about how the world works, and thus, indeed, it doesn’t matter even one little bit.

      Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has a tendency to confirm a different estimation of the significance of her verbal conduct – including especially her unremitting awkwardness and incoherence.

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Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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