Posted at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2008
by Tom Scheck
In his most recent commentary (no link provided) Former U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger (a Republican) didn't have flattering words for Sarah Palin. He also wondered whether the recent corporate bailouts of the financial sector has changed the race for President:
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN The ground under the campaigns for President is shifting as we the people watch the genie of Senator Phil Gramm's "you're the problem not us" escape the Wall Street - Washington DC bottle he now works in, and shift both the blame and the financial liability to we the people and our already drained pay checks and check books. An ear to the ground this week is beginning to hear, "It is no time for old men and hockey moms in America." It's these old men that got us into this problem and it stretches Main Street credulity that they can get us out. God has no plan that includes the growth of greed and the decline of governmental oversight we have experienced. A different kind of "experience" seems needed in the White House. Events, not clever campaign canards, are beginning to shape the election of President of the United States.
Durenberger wrote several items on Palin. Here's the first:
COMMUNITY A lot of people I know were quite impressed by Sarah Palin's speaking debut on a national stage in St. Paul last week. I was not. As one who has spent a lifetime in community service and 16 years in professional national service I resented being lectured by a self styled pit-bull from Alaska. I was particularly angered by her attack on Barack Obama's work as a community organizer, suggesting that it lacked "the actual responsibilities" she undertook in the course of hoisting herself into elected office. There was a day not so long ago when Republicans like me were the champions of community organizing as a responsible citizenry's alternative to government jobs and programs (" actual responsibilities" ) approaches to community development.
Here the other (check last line):
WIRED FOR THIS JOB is a phrase Sarah Palin made famous last week. In public service it means an informed belief system best articulated as principles against which leaders measure their positions on issues like the appropriate role of government in a constitutional democracy. Sarah Palin didn't blink when John McCain asked her to marry him on their second date. She says she won't blink when he prescribes reforming the country and victory in our many wars. She won't blink in delegating our security in the Middle East to Israeli politics or defining threats to our national security to Russian leaders. She would have us believe that the God who wires her life has a plan for all of the above and leaders like Bush and McCain are his capable surrogates. There must be a limit to Sarah Palin's self-confidence, but we've yet to see it.
Give Sarah credit for giving a lot of Americans someone they can relate to. Those rally crowds are real. The demand by Republican Congressional Candidates fro her appearance is greater than the supply. Interestingly that is a role John McCain played for the 14 years the GOP lurched to the far right.
This election is really about John McCain and Barack Obama's ability to change the course of this nation's history. If anything happened to President Obama we know Joe Biden is qualified to be President because he has already demonstrated what leadership and accountability for national and international leadership means. You may not agree with him, but you'll always know where he stands. Is it possible in seven weeks to qualify Sarah Palin for similar responsibilities?
After admitting she knows nothing about what a vice president is/does, she is stretching the truth of her understanding of the world we know and exaggerating her meager accomplishments in a state we don't. Whether or not there is a chance that a President McCain may not survive his term, history tells us that vice presidents are assumed to be qualified to be president or we shouldn't trust them with our vote.
Question of the Day: Does this analysis change anyone's mind?
Does it change my mind? About Palin? Pffft.
About Durenberger? Sadly, no. He's always been one of those Pre-1990 "Republicans" who was more of a DFLer with a better suit, and whose prime imperative was to get along with Democrats rather than push a conservative agenda.
Labelling him a "Republican" is sort of like labelling Zell Miller a Democrat - misleading and devoid of context.
It truly is great when a politician, from either side of the aisle, sticks to his or her - and sometimes the party's - own principles, and bucks the trend of doing anything to win elections.
Mr. Berg: Does Durenberger's status as "a DFLer with a better suit" lessen the significance of the 1978 "Minnesota Massacre"? Was it more of a fashion statement from Minnesota voters than a political one?
Durenberger certainly had his problems, and I don't agree with him on many issues, but he raises several good points here. The emphasis of Palin's nomination -- her "maverick" status, being outside the political establishment -- is actually based on a lack of experience. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and she may have enough experience to be a functional caddy to the president, but to tout her relative experience while denigrating that of the Democratic candidates is really pushing the envelope. It may be a good strategy with this electorate -- playing up your weakness / attacking your opponent's strength -- but I still think it's fair game for an observer to call them on it.
On a side note, I have been studying patterns and trends of our federal borrowing and deficit spending, and in a few materials, Durenberger gets painted as one of the stronger voices for saner fiscal policy in the 1980's. Of course, his own improper "fiscal policy" got him in trouble later. But it seems the prime imperative of a lot of post-1990 Republican "conservatives" is to oppose the "liberal" Democrats rather than advocate for a sane, healthy plan of federal spending and borrowing. I know which one I'd rather have, and which one I'd rather see in the new "maverick reformer conservative" ticket.
No U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger, means nothing to me, I was to young to have voted for him. His influence is only that of Plywood Minnesota owner.
My opinion was not changed as I already thought Palin to be lacking in any demonstrable qualifications required for the important office of VP.
Dave's writings were refreshing. It is not everyday a lifelong Republican, or Democrat for that matter, will publicly criticize his party's clearly erroneous choice of candidates. To do so at this time of highly partisan political warfare takes courage.
Bring back those moderate Republicans. If Dave's style of Republicanism had stayed in vogue, our country would have already started working on the enormous problems facing it. In fact, maybe the country would not be in the mess we are now in.
My own moderate, long term Republican State Representative, Ron Erhardt, has been thrown aside by his party simply for exercising the independent judgement we elected him to use. We need to value people who work across party lines to solve our considerable problems.
3 cheers for Dave and Ron too!
I agree with MBerg: Republicans have not been as reasonable as Durenberger for a long time. That being said, he makes sense.
Just to show how little influnce Durenberger means, I guess that Boschwitz was the Plywood Minnesota guy. I'm pretty sure that I could not pick Durenberger out of a line up.
The Right Wing of the republican party is slowly losing it's common sense base..
Maybe Carlson, Durenberger, Elmer Anderson won't move to the Democratic aisle but they won't vote for an unqualified candidate like Sarah Palin either, and neiter will I.
M Berg is losing his credibility..
Guess what people, after todays bailouts, those rich guys tax credits ain't going to be made permanent
and McCain will soon have to change his tune.