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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Where have all the flowers gone?"

This letter appeared in The Clarion-Ledger of December 20, 2009. Hannibal, the British, and the Soviets had failed military adventures in Afghanistan, but, by God, the United States will succeed!


For those of us who lived during the Vietnam era, we have seen and heard all of this before. I'm talking about President Barack Obama's decision to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan.

[Our leaders] called it the domino theory - meaning neighboring countries would also fall to the communists if south Vietnam fell. We all know now this was pure hogwash.

Remember the late Mississippi U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis telling us that there was "light at the end of the tunnel," meaning victory in Vietnam? Well, the only tunnels we found were full of Viet Cong.

We lost [nearly 60,000] dead in Vietnam and still counting; nearly 5,000 dead in Iraq and still counting; and nearly 1,000 in Afghanistan and still counting.

For what?

For those who say we must support the troops, I point out: Everybody does that. But if they are serious, they would demand that the only constitutional body authorized to do so, the U.S. Congress, officially declare war in Iraq and Afghanistan, raise taxes to pay for it and reinstate the draft.

Most military experts predict that it will take up to 10 years to complete the so-called mission in Afghanistan. President Obama will be out of office by then, even if he wins a second term.

This means our children now 10 and 12 years old will be dying in that god-forsaken country. And taxes will have to be raised to pay for it.

The Afghan war has become President Obama's war. As George Bush did in Iraq, he is rolling the dice. Isn't that right, [ex-US Rep.] David Bowen [D-MS]?

This war - not the health reform plan - will be Obama's Waterloo. And Republicans who approve this military action risk political suicide.

This military infusion into Afghanistan is pure folly. Let me point out that I was against the war in Iraq, too, along with other conservatives like George Will... Pat Buchanan [William F. Buckley Jr. and Robert Novak].

"Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing. Where have all the flowers gone? Long time ago. Where have all the flowers gone? Young girls picked them every one.

"Where have all the young men gone? Long time passing. Where have all the young men gone? Long time ago. Where have all the young men gone? Gone to graveyards every one.

"When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"

Wallace Dabbs
Canton, Mississippi

Monday, December 21, 2009

5th Circuit Returns Mississippi Case to Lower Court

At this posting, there are 21 comments on this article.

From Ballot Access News:

On December 18, the 5th circuit issued an opinion in Moore v Hosemann, 09-60272, the case filed by Socialist Party presidential candidate Brian Moore last year, when the Mississippi Secretary of State refused to accept his presidential elector paperwork because it was submitted at 5:10 p.m. on the filing deadline. The Secretary of State rejected the paperwork because it arrived ten minutes after he had closed his office. The building itself was still open, so the paperwork had been left at the door of the Secretary of State’s office.

On March 10, 2009, the U.S. District Court had ruled against Moore, saying the case is moot. The District Court said, “It does not seem reasonably likely that other prospective presidential candidates will fail to timely file their qualifying papers before the Secretary of State’s office closes at 5 p.m. on the date of the qualifying deadline.”

But, the 5th circuit disagreed, saying, “The Secretary has made it plain that he intends to enforce the 5 p.m. deadline in future elections. He adds that the chance is very small that Moore or any other presidential candidate will miss the deadline again. That is beside the point, however. As long as the complained-of deadline is in place, future candidates in Mississippi will be subject to it and will need to conform to its demands. Thus, the effects of the deadline will persist.”

Therefore, the case goes back to the U.S. District Court, to settle the main issue. Moore’s case depends on the fact that Mississippi election laws do specify an hourly deadline for some kinds of paperwork. However, the law governing filings of presidential electors does not mention an hourly deadline, so the implication is that if the paperwork comes in on the deadline day at any hour, it is timely. The 5th circuit opinion also says that the U.S. District Court should refer the case to the Mississippi state courts, because generally, federal courts do not interpret or construe the actual meaning of state laws; that is a job for state courts. Therefore, probably a state court will eventually make the decision as to whether Moore’s paperwork should have been accepted.

The decision is by Judge Jerry Smith, a Reagan appointee, and is co-signed by Judge Edith Jones, another Reagan appointee, and Judge Harold DeMoss, a Bush, Sr. appointee. This is the first time the 5th Circuit has issued an opinion favorable to a minor party or independent candidate since 1996, when it invalidated a Texas law requiring independent candidate petitions to include the voter registration affidavit number of each petition signer. That case was Texas Independent Party v Kirk, 84 F.3d 178.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Health Survey Results

This article reportedly came from Investor's Business Daily. It provides some very interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization.

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:
U.S. 65%
England 46%
Canada 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:
U.S. 93%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:
U.S. 90%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:
U.S. 77%
England 40%
Canada 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:
U.S. 71
England 14
Canada 18

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in "excellent health":
U.S. 12%
England 2%
Canada 6%

I don't know about you, but I don't want "Universal Healthcare" comparable to England or Canada.

Moreover, it was Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (NV) who said, "Elderly Americans must learn to accept the inconveniences of old age."

The "Open Primary" Debate Rages On

In June 2010, California will have a ballot measure for a Louisiana-style nonpartisan election system.[1] This is popularly called an "open primary," but its more accurate name is the "top two." Below is an excerpt from my latest exchange at Ballot Access News with Jim Riley of Texas, who considers the "top two" to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

JIM: But instead of a first election to choose party nominees, [the first round of the "top two"] would be to choose the nominees of the voters.

STEVE: You have a strange definition for “nominees.” Suppose the parties decided to exercise their First Amendment right to nominate candidates in advance of the first round of the “top two,” and two of those party nominees were the top vote-getters in the first round. Would those two candidates then be considered to be twice-nominated?

The purpose of the first round of the “top two” is to winnow the field to two candidates. In their book Primary Elections, incidentally, Charles Merriam and Louise Overacker refer to the "top two" as a “double election.”

JIM: There should be no way to keep candidates from running for office [in the "top two" after they have lost a party's nomination].

STEVE: Anyone who seeks a party’s nomination is indeed “running for office.” If you don’t believe it, ask Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney.

JIM: There should be no assurance that a party... has a candidate in the general election.

STEVE: Well, let’s see now. In all 50 states, each qualified party has the power to have one presidential candidate in the general election.

In 49 states– all but Washington– each qualified party is authorized to have one candidate for the US Senate and each US House seat in the general election.

In 48 states– all but Washington and Louisiana– each qualified party is empowered to have one candidate for all or most state offices in the general election.

So if you’re going to reverse this trend, you’ve got one helluva job ahead of you.

JIM: There should be no assurance that there won’t be two candidates from the same party in the general election.

STEVE: Why not? Again, given the numbers I’ve cited above, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you...

JIM: The national and California Republican parties supported different presidential candidates in 1912 [the national party backed William Howard Taft, while the California GOP backed the Progressive Party nominee, Theodore Roosevelt]...

STEVE: Yes, and a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, won the 1912 presidential election, didn’t he? That’s what usually happens when a party is split in the general election– it loses [of course, it's possible for both runoff candidates in the "top two" to be from the same party, which disenfranchises the other parties' loyal voters].

I keep wondering, Jim, when you’re going to tell at least one member of the Texas legislature about the glories of your beloved “top two.” Don’t you think your fellow Texans have suffered under the yoke of party primaries long enough?


[1] All candidates, including independents, run in the same election. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, move on to the runoff. Currently, only Louisiana and Washington state use this system to elect all of their state officials; Washington alone uses it to elect its congressional delegation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A New Plan for State and County Elections

Mississippi elects its state and county officials at the same time, and the next such elections will be in 2011. In a number of our counties, all or most of the candidates for county offices run in one party's primary. In Hinds County, for example, the county races are decided in the Democratic primary, so anyone who votes in the Republican primary misses out on voting for county officials. The reverse is true in neighboring Rankin County, where the county races are decided in the Republican primary, and anyone voting in the Democratic primary misses out on choosing county officials.

Tennessee does not have this problem, as it holds party primaries for county offices several months earlier. The county primaries are in May, while the state and congressional primaries occur in August. The Volunteer State, like Mississippi, does not register voters by party, and a voter may cast a ballot in one party's primary in May and the other party's primary in August (Tennessee, incidentally, does not have party runoff [or second] primaries).

The general election for county offices is held in August, at the same time as the party primaries for state and congressional offices. The general election for state and congressional offices, of course, takes place in November.

Putnam County, whose seat is Cookeville, is located in northern Middle Tennessee. Its county commission-- comparable to Mississippi's board of supervisors-- in an effort to save money, is asking the Democrats and Republicans not to hold primaries in May 2010. The commission says the last primaries cost the county $60,000. Each candidate for county office would instead qualify for the August ballot as an independent, which requires 25 signatures on a petition.

There is a way that all Mississippi voters could cast a ballot in the party primary of their preference for state offices and still choose among ALL the candidates for county offices. This plan would also potentially make campaigns for county offices less expensive, while assuring that all county officials are elected with 50-plus percent of the vote.

Click here to see how this plan would work.

Monday, December 07, 2009

New Open Primary Suit in South Carolina

South Carolina, like Mississippi, is among the states with compulsory open primaries. Any party holding a primary is required by law to allow any voter to participate in that primary. Each voter picks a party on primary day.

Last April, the Republican Party of Greenville County filed a federal lawsuit against the Palmetto State's open primary law. The party wants to be able to block non-members from voting in GOP primaries. In August, however, the suit was inexplicably dropped.

Now comes the news that a new suit will soon be brought against the open primary law in behalf of the South Carolina Republican Party and its Greenville County affiliate. The current state GOP chairman is reportedly very much in favor of this action.

This suit, of course, parallels the one that the Mississippi Democrats filed in 2006. U. S. district judge Allen Pepper ruled our state-mandated open primary unconstitutional, but the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismissed the case on procedural grounds (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour).

Meanwhile, the challenge to Idaho's compulsory open primary is moving forward. U. S. district judge B. Lynn Winmill has ordered a trial in that case (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa).

I won't be surprised if the South Carolina case moves through the courts faster than the Gem State suit, as the trial will slow the Idaho case down. Also, South Carolina is part of the 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has already ruled, in a Virginia case, that, when a party is forced to nominate by primary, the party-- not the state-- determines who is eligible to vote in that primary (Miller v. Cunningham).

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Signing the Pledge in Virginia

Phil Rodokanakis commented on my article on Virginia's politics and election system. The Republicans held a "firehouse primary" to choose their candidate for the upcoming special election for a state Senate seat. Phil is critical of the pledge that the GOP required each voter to sign.

"... [the pledge is] meaningless as it's unenforceable. Furthermore, it alienates voters, even Republicans, because it asks them to pledge support for all Republican nominees."

There will only be one race on the special election ballot, so this must have been the standard form for the pledge. It sounds like the party was requiring voters to promise to vote Republican for all offices in future elections as well.

Yes, it's unenforceable because of the secret ballot.

"The quicker the GOP gives up on this silly notion of having voters sign pledges, the better off the party will be. What VA needs is voter registration by party. Then the majority will register as independents and the parties won't keep on taking the voters for granted."

I know that the Virginia legislature has refused to enact party registration; the GOP probably figures the pledge is the next best thing. Party registration is tough to get through a legislature, as most voters don't want it. Idaho Republicans have filed suit against their state-mandated open primary (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa), but several bills for party registration have failed in the heavily Republican legislature.

Both Rhode Island and Utah have fairly recently adopted a system that deemed all voters already registered to be independents. The only voters who had to re-register were those who wanted to affiliate with a party (in both states, independents may vote in either party's primary).

Closer to home, North Carolina registers voters by party, and independents have their choice of either party's primary. The Republicans have invited independents to vote in their primaries since 1988, and the Democrats have since 1996.

Party registration is not the straitjacket that many people fear it is. Its purpose is to identify voters' party preferences, and it's the most practical way of doing so. But a party can still invite non-members to vote in its primary if it wants to. Utah, e. g., has party registration, and yet the Democrats invite ALL voters into Democratic primaries.

Getting back to the Virginia Republicans' pledge: As I recall, the party in 2008 announced that it would compel voters to sign the pledge in order to participate in the GOP presidential primary, but the reaction was so negative that the party was forced to abandon this requirement.

Kevin Trudeau, King of the Infomercials

At this posting, there are 1170 comments on this article.

by Mitch Lipka

Even if you don't know Kevin Trudeau by name, you'll likely recognize his face. You've probably seen him while channel surfing during a bout of insomnia; he's the perfectly coiffed guy who confidently explains to one or more women on his talk show style-infomercials about having the answers for all that worries you -- from illness to money.

Trudeau is a legendary figure in the world of infomercials, with a charismatic approach that has won him a legion of followers. Over the years, he's offered us advice on how to beat cancer, improve our memory, read faster, lose weight and straighten out our finances. Now he's onto the next life-altering topic. Trudeau is currently saturating the infomercial airwaves with 30-minute segments about his latest book: "Free Money 'They' Don't Want You to Know About."

Trudeau has sold millions of books that dole out his expansive range of advice. Yet, one thing his adoring fans might not realize is that the charming pitchman on the television is also a convicted felon who has been slammed with an extraordinary series of sanctions by the FTC for allegedly misleading consumers. Currently, there is a $40 million-plus fine looming over Trudeau's head in an ongoing court battle with the Federal Trade Commission. A judge even gave him the distinction of being the only pitchman banned from doing infomercials.

But that hasn't slowed Trudeau. In fact, you might have seen him last night on an infomercial.

"I have free rein. I can sell whatever I want because I'm protected by the First Amendment," Trudeau told WalletPop. "I can sell a book that says the moon is made of cheese, and it should be protected by the First Amendment."

He has yet to write the moon-cheese book, but if he did, he most certainly would sell a lot of them. His critics -- including the government of the United States -- have portrayed him as a huckster who gets millions of people to pay for worthless advice based on impossible claims. His followers, on the other hand, believe him wholeheartedly.

"He's just playing right into what everyone wants. He's a master of looking for weaknesses," said marketing expert Tom Antion. "Those are the same characteristics as a con man."

Trudeau was definitely playing a con's game in the late 1980s, leading to criminal charges in 1990 for larceny (posing as someone else to cash $80,000 worth of worthless checks) and credit card fraud (for using a bunch of his customers' credit card numbers to ring up more than $120,000 in charges). He went to federal prison for... Read more>>>>

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Virginia's New Attorney General and a "Firehouse Primary"

On November 3, three statewide offices were at stake in Virginia, and the Republicans won all of them. Attorney general Bob McDonnell was elected governor; lieutenant governor Bill Bolling was re-elected; and state Senator Ken Cuccinelli was elected attorney general.

In 2005, Cuccinelli brought the first-ever lawsuit against a state-mandated open primary[1]. He found a 2004 piece that I had written on the various types of primaries, and he contacted me as part of his research for the case. He and I had quite a bit of correspondence after that. He was representing a local unit of the Virginia Republican Party, and he argued the case in the federal courts, winning the first ruling against the state-mandated open primary. The 4th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that, when a party is required to nominate by primary, the party-- not the state-- decides who is eligible to vote in that primary (Miller v. Cunningham). The decision was not appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court, which has never yet considered an open primary case.

In February 2006, the Mississippi Democrats (who did not know about the case pending in Virginia) filed suit against our state-mandated open primary. U. S. district judge Allen Pepper declared our law unconstitutional, but the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismissed the suit on a technicality (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour).

Cuccinelli was the last Republican state senator from the D. C. suburbs of northern Virginia, and a special election will be held in January to fill that seat. Virginia gives its parties several nominating options besides the primary, and the GOP used a "firehouse primary" to choose its nominee. In this process, all voters cast their ballots at one central location; the hours were 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Virginia, like Mississippi, does not register voters by party.)

"Would-be voters were required to produce identification and sign a pledge that they intend to support the Republican nominee going forward."

Alone among the states, Virginia does not allow its chief executive to succeed himself, so don't be surprised if Cuccinelli is in the thick of the 2013 governor's race.

Congratulations, Cooch!


[1] The state requires any party holding a primary to let any voter participate in that primary. Each voter picks a party on primary day.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Alabama's 1966 Race for Governor

George Wallace, an ally of two-time Governor Jim Folsom Sr., first ran for chief executive of Alabama in 1958 as a racial moderate with NAACP backing. Losing the Democratic runoff to attorney general John Patterson, Wallace swore, "I'll never be out-segged again!"

Wallace campaigned in 1962 as a staunch segregationist with support from the Ku Klux Klan. Ex-Governor Folsom, appearing drunk on live TV the night before the primary, clucked like a chicken and forgot the name of one of his children. He barely missed making the runoff, which Wallace won.

Ineligible to succeed himself, Wallace in 1966 ran his wife Lurleen as a stand-in. I recalled that she won the crowded Democratic primary without a runoff, but in reviewing the results, I was amazed to learn that Folsom and Patterson combined only got 6.2 percent of the vote.

James Martin, who had nearly beaten longtime Democratic U. S. senator Lister Hill in 1962, was the 1966 Republican nominee for governor. Martin gave up the U. S. House seat that he had won in 1964, and he lost badly to Mrs. Wallace.

I asked my friend Darcy Richardson, author of six books on politics, to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of the 1966 campaign, which he graciously agreed to do. His excellent account is below. ~~ SR


George Wallace, of course, was scared to death of Ryan DeGraffenried's candidacy in the months leading up to the 1966 gubernatorial primary. DeGraffenried had denounced Wallace as a "loud-mouthed demagogue" during the 1962 primary while edging out "Kissin' Jim" Folsom to make the runoff. He was probably the one political figure in Alabama that Wallace feared the most.

Wallace failed in trying to convince the Alabama legislature to pass a constitutional amendment allowing him to run for a second consecutive term and knew that his wife would probably go down to defeat in a contest against the young and handsome state senator from Tuscaloosa. One member of the Wallace family later remarked that had DeGraffenried lived, "it's highly possible George would not have run Lurleen" that year. At the time, polls showed that DeGraffenried would win without a runoff. His tragic death in February, of course, changed all of that, making Lurleen the instant favorite and creating a free-for-all of sorts among rival Democrats, each hoping to force Wallace's 39-year-old wife into a runoff.

Folsom, who had briefly entered the race for the 1948 Democratic presidential nomination against incumbent Harry Truman and later flirted with the idea of supporting the Progressive Party's Henry A. Wallace, and Patterson, longing for a political comeback, both waged active campaigns during the 1966 primary. Patterson stalled at the starting gate, unable to gain any traction in the contest because most of the state's large segregationist population — those whom the ex-governor had always counted on — had already gravitated to the Wallaces, while the 6'8", 57-year-old Folsom, who had made a fool of himself on the eve of the 1962 primary when he appeared drunk on statewide television, was boxed in by three other moderates, each believed to have a much better chance of making the runoff than the former governor.

Silver-haired attorney general Richmond Flowers, a moderate on race issues who made a direct appeal to the state's African-American voters — numbering about 230,000 at the time — was probably regarded as Lurleen's most formidable challenger in the primary, but there was also spirited competition from former eight-term congressman Carl Elliott of northern Alabama, a liberal on racial issues who was later honored with the first Profile in Courage Award from the Kennedy Library Foundation — presented to him, incidentally, by the late Ted Kennedy in 1990 — and from state Senator Bob Gilchrist, an ally of longtime U.S. senator John J. Sparkman who had worked vigorously to block Wallace's succession amendment in the legislature.

Patterson and Folsom, the latter of whom was waging the second of six unsuccessful comebacks — the last occurring in 1982 when he was virtually penniless, in failing health, and legally blind — were never really factors in the 1966 primary. The two ex-governors were naturally disappointed by their poor showings. "There wasn't any way in the world of beating her," lamented Patterson. "You had old women, eighty, ninety years old, going and registering to vote that never voted in their life. Just so they could vote for her." Folsom agreed. "It was like a damned blitzkrieg," he complained.

Eyeing a presidential candidacy in which he promised to "shake the eye-teeth of the liberals in this country" while turning the two-party establishment on its head, George C. Wallace arguably campaigned harder that year than any of the ten candidates whose names appeared on the Democratic primary ballot that spring. After all, he had the most to lose.

Nobody could fire up a crowd like old George. In one campaign appearance after another, the fiery pugilist-turned-politician bounced across the stage, passionately defending the working folks of Alabama and particularly his devoted wife and mother of his four children — a former dime-store clerk and daughter of a shipyard worker — against the tirades and ridicule of the national media, which, astoundingly, covered Lurleen's campaign as closely as a hotly-contested presidential race.

Wallace knew that he had taken a huge gamble by running his wife for governor that year, but he succeeded — something that probably wouldn't have happened had the small blue-and-gray Cessna airplane carrying front-runner Ryan DeGraffenried to a speaking engagement in nearby Gadsden not been caught in a gale-force wind, slamming the plane into Lookout Mountain in early February, killing the popular Tuscaloosa lawmaker and his pilot instantly. Had DeGraffenried lived, there's every possibility that Wallace would not have been a third-party candidate for president in 1968.


Click here for information on Darcy's books.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Texan Says Barbour Likely to Run For President

A Texas blogger speculates on a possible 2012 presidential run by Mississippi governor Haley Barbour. The article notes that in the 1980 presidential race, Barbour was Southern coordinator for ex-Texas governor John Connally, who was a close ally of Lyndon Johnson’s and later Nixon’s treasury secretary. Connally backed President Gerald Ford over Ronald Reagan in 1976, when Reagan narrowly lost the Republican nomination.

Senator Thad Cochran, who also endorsed Connally in 1980, was defeated at the Hinds County GOP convention for delegate to the state convention.

Connally skipped the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, which were won, respectively, by George H. W. Bush and Reagan. With Senator Strom Thurmond’s support, Connally made his first (and last) stand in South Carolina, where Reagan pulverized him (Rudolph Giuliani in 2008 would have done well to study Connally’s 1980 strategy). Connally wound up with a total of ONE delegate, after spending $14 or $15 million.

In 1988, Barbour was mentioned as a possible candidate in the New Hampshire presidential primary.

The Yazoo countian seems to have a “thing” for Texas politicians, as he attended a presidential exploratory meeting for Governor George W. Bush in Texas in January, 1999.

If the Mississippi governor is indeed planning to run for president, it will probably be a good idea for him not to raise any more taxes or reduce the sentences of any more murderers.

Why They Hate Sarah

by Donald W. Miller Jr., MD

As Dr. Arthur Robinson, writer of the "Pro-Science, Pro-Technology, Pro-Free Enterprise Monthly Newsletter" Access to Energy describes it, the American national railroad train is heading toward a fatal intersection. He writes, "There is a switch at that intersection. One direction leads to a wonderful valley of lower taxation, lower regulation, lower litigation, and less government – a valley labelled ‘freedom’ and ‘technology prosperity.’ The other direction leads to a destroyed bridge over a very deep canyon. The rocks at the bottom of the canyon are littered with the remains of many earlier civilizations. They are labelled ‘statism,’ ‘totalitarianism,’ ‘Marxism,’ ‘fascism,’ and ‘the tyranny of democratic socialism.’"

Now operating as a free agent in the Lower 48 (states), Sarah Palin is likely to play a critical role in helping to turn the switch that turns America’s train in the direction towards less government.

When she came on the national stage as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, LRC’s Walter Block wrote: "Here is a rifle toting, moose killing, basketball playing, beauty contest winning, charismatic and eloquent long happily married conservative hockey mom who has made something of herself in a very competitive field, who has not gone to finishing school at Harvard, Yale or Princeton... She is a breath of fresh air blowing in from our northernmost state."

This is how Lew Rockwell viewed her arrival on the national scene:

"The frenzied reaction of the middle class all over the country toward Sarah Palin has no real precedent that I can remember. Indeed, the reaction especially among women is completely understandable. She provides a much welcome cultural break from the chip-on-the-shoulder, grudge-against-the-world model of public women that have been held up to us for years, embodied in the belligerent and insufferable person of Hillary Clinton.

"Sarah, on the other hand, is both beautiful and professionally accomplished, a wife and mother and a natural politician, both religious and secular, both feminine and fears no tasks such as hunting that are usually associated with men. She offers a different model of a woman who has excelled not through intimidation and aggressive demands for reparation, but through her own efforts, charms, and intelligence."

Jack Wheeler points out (in his To The Point News) this special quality that Palin has: "A lower-middle-class woman who speaks the language of the country’s ordinary voters and has a profound personal understanding of the hopes and worries of a vast swath of the public."

Feminists, intellectuals, academics, the Beltway (Washington, D.C.) culture and its media acolytes hold a different view of her. Sarah Palin provokes a visceral hostility in these special people, which compels them to make statements about her like these: "Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy" (Maureen Dowd); a "religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus" (Christopher Hitchens); "anti-abortion, a member of the NRA and thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution" (Susan Reimer); "it’s her extreme narcissism that gets to me" (Pepper Schwartz, a professor at the University of Washington [yes, I know her]); and "her greatest hypocrisy is her pretense that she is a woman" (Wendy Doniger, a professor at the University of Chicago).

While the intellectual elite (liberal and conservative) and feminists loathe Sarah Palin, a substantial proportion of the U.S. population quite likes and admires her. This is particularly true with people who live in... Read more>>>>