When You Lose Joe The Plumber You Are Really In Danger Of Losing The Moron Vote

Poor Sarah Palin. First Joe the Plumber turned on John McCain, the politician who made him famous, and was leaning more in the Sarah Palin/know-nothing direction. Now Joe is attacking both McCain and Palin. He hates McCain so much that he will no longer support Palin just because Palin is now campaigning for McCain’s reelection campaign.

To lose the know-nothing extremist element which Joe’s support represents is bad news for Palin considering how she has already lost the support of pretty much everyone else in the country. John Avlon has an analysis for CNN today as to why  Palm-gate’ proves centrists’ Palin doubts:

She is queen of the conservative populists, and to her supporters she can do no wrong. She is despised by Democrats. But — and here’s the biggest hurdle — she is disliked and distrusted by Independents and centrists.

Palin’s “Palm-gate” incident matters because it validates the doubts deeply held by Sarah skeptics in the center of the American electorate.

I was in the room when she gave her speech at Nashville’s Opryland Hotel. It was well-written and rapturously received by the Tea Party crowd. It was part campaign speech and part state of the union address, focusing on foreign policy for the first 15 minutes — a subject rarely discussed inside the Tea Party movement — before she got to the red meat of deficits and debt.

It had a string of her patented folksy and sarcastic one-liners, such as “How’s that hopey-changey thing working for ya?” It brought the house down. And then there was the one-liner that would haunt her a few minutes later: a dig at President Obama as “a charismatic guy with a teleprompter.”

Ironically, Palin is a charismatic gal who could have used a teleprompter that night. It would have helped her avoid looking down at her text half the time, and it would have slowed her delivery to the pace she used in her devastatingly effective 2008 convention address.

But she presumably avoided a teleprompter in part to use that one line — and the audience loved it. When it came time for the post-speech question-and-answer session, no one announced that she had been given the questions in advance. It wouldn’t have sounded very populist.

But that’s the only explanation for why she had written notes on her hand. That such a stunt would get a kid kicked out of a junior high classroom isn’t the point — the real problem is the question that prompted the note-taking.

Palin was asked to recommend the top three things Republicans should do when they retake Congress. The follow-up was the first three things she would do if elected president.

She wrote on her hand the following notes: “energy”; “budget cuts” (“budget” was then crossed out and replaced with “tax” — presumably because a call for budget cuts would require sticky specifics); and “lift American spirits” — the last being a call for more reliance on God in our politics.

The questions would have been softballs even if she hadn’t seen them in advance. The answers are so boilerplate that a candidate for city council wouldn’t need prompting.

That Palin believed she needed to write them down is the political equivalent of reminding yourself to breathe. The gap between Palin’s scripted surgical strikes in her speech and the need to rely on notes for a simple question she saw in advance validates the doubts that nonconservatives have long had about her.

A poll taken toward the end of the 2008 campaign found that 47 percent of centrists said her selection made them less likely to vote for John McCain as president. A July 2009 Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 58 percent of independent voters did not believe that she understood complex issues.

Palin’s Palm-gate only compounds these problems.

Just to repeat for the pro-Palin trolls who are bound to show up, clueless as to why it is ok for Obama to use a teleprompter but Palin has been ridiculed for her notes on her palm: All politicians use teleprompters for prepared statements. Sarah Palin usually uses one too, except for when she looks down at notes so that she can attack Obama for using a teleprompter. What is significant here is that the notes on Palins palm were for a softball question which had been arranged ahead of time for the Q&A session. Being unable to handle a simple planted question is far different from using a teleprompter for a prepared statement.

Related Post: The Top Ten Things Written on Sarah Palin’s Hand

Republicans Were For Mandates, Purchasing Pools, and Effectiveness Research Before They Were Against Them

The Democrats were on the verge of passing health care legislation by reconciling the differences between the House and Senate bills before they were shocked by the loss of Ted Kennedy’s old seat in Massachusetts. The White House is now working on such a compromise health care reform proposal. Of course the Republicans will attack regardless of what they do, even if the proposal is similar to what Republicans have supported in the past.

I have previously noted how Republicans supported the individual mandate until they saw political benefit in coming out against mandates. NPR’s Morning Edition had a report today which discussed how similar the current plan is to the alternative which Republicans offered to the Clinton plan in 1993:

…while President Clinton was pushing for employers to cover their workers in his 1993 bill, John Chafee of Rhode Island, along with 20 other GOP senators and Rep. Bill Thomas of California, introduced legislation that instead featured an individual mandate. Four of those Republican co-sponsors — Hatch, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Robert Bennett of Utah and Christopher Bond of Missouri — remain in the Senate today.

The GOP’s 1993 measure included some features Republicans still want Democrats to consider, including damage award caps for medical malpractice lawsuits.

But the summary of the Republican bill from the Clinton era and the Democratic bills that passed the House and Senate over the past few months are startlingly alike.

Beyond the requirement that everyone have insurance, both call for purchasing pools and standardized insurance plans. Both call for a ban on insurers denying coverage or raising premiums because a person has been sick in the past. Both even call for increased federal research into the effectiveness of medical treatments — something else that used to have strong bipartisan support, but that Republicans have been backing away from recently.

Republicans are also being contradictory in both demanding that the health care proposal be posted on line and in attacking the Democrats for agreeing to post their proposal on line seventy-two hours before the planned health care summit. The Party of No will object to anything–even their own demands.

Bayh Not Running: One Less Republican In Senate Democratic Caucus

There will be one less Republican in the Senate Democratic caucus with Evan Bayh announcing he will not seek reelection. While the loss of Bayh himself is not going to be missed by many Democrats this will make it more difficult for Democrats to hold onto a Senate seat in Indiana. While Bayh is the most conservative Democratic Senator after Ben Nelson, he is still more liberal than any in the Republican delegation, showing how little diversity is left. There was a time when there were Republican Senators who were to the left of Bayh.

Petitions for the primary are due tomorrow meaning that no Democrats will qualify. There has been some speculation on line that this would result in no Democratic candidate. Actually this leaves it open to the party to choose a candidate.

There has been speculation as to Bayh’s motives as he was believed to be in a strong position for reelection. I’ve heard that Rush Limbaugh is speculating that he plans to run against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012. As I just had lunch I don’t want to actually check out Limbaugh’s show to verify this, but I assume Limbaugh phrased it “Democrat nomination.” I doubt this is very likely. If  Bayh is planning on running for another office it is more likely he is planning to run for governor of Indiana–a post he has held in the past. Another possibility is that he might be going the Sarah Palin route and looking to make money as opposed to remaining in government. At least he plans to finish his term.

There are now six Republican Senators not running for reelection and three Democrats.