Pr(Sarah Palin=President)>Pr(John McCain=President)?

Here’s a frightening thought, today Sarah Palin may have a greater probability of becoming president than John McCain.  The betting markets are currently giving McCain about a 16% chance of winning.  If McCain wins then let’s assume that all things considered Palin has a 40% chance of becoming president (either if McCain dies in office or as his successor).  If McCain loses many people suggest Palin could be a future Republican leader so let’s put her chances of becoming president in that scenario at 12%.  Thus:

Pr(Sarah Palin=President) = .16*.4 + .84*.12 = 16.48 > 16% = Pr(John McCain = President).


Over at the Boettke and Prychitko blog I've argued that, should he win the election, McCain might die in office not only because of age issues, but also because terrorists have a greater incentive to consider alternative means to take him out of office. Why? So that the U.S. is stuck with a remarkably weak president -- Palin.

This might increase her probability, no?

i give palin a <1% chance of becoming president and that's being generous. five more days and the witch is dead.

Depends crucially on P(Palin|McCain wins) and P(Palin), which you've more or less pulled out of thin air... I guess it's plausible though.

for the probabilistic dudes to remember

Lies Utter Lies then Statistics...

The mortgage backed securities were also rated as good investment opps by rating agencies using statistical models

the rest as we know is history

If I had my choice among the four candidates (for P and VP), based on their actual performance in office I would pick Palin and dump the rest. Based on ideology, I would pick Palin and dump the rest.

People who don't make Joe the Plumbers list of "real" Americans:

Puerto Ricans
"Mixed" peoples

I have a hunch that a majority of the American electorate views Palin as the best of the four. Evidence? The NYT et. al. have been hammering away at her every day in numerous so-called hard news stories. Despite the polls, there is some reason to be optimistic about next Tuesday's outcome and it may lead, as some have suggested, to the first woman President. (For what it may be worth I think -and hope- that the first black President will also be a Republican.)

Ohhh, and Tyler was doing such a good job of keeping it apolitical.

But what percentage of VPs have been president?

Politicians have nice moat as long as they keep winning. Consider: who the freak is Barack Obama? I'm not being political here. The guy was anointed before he made the 2004 convention speech. But, if he loses, he's pretty much done. Maybe he gets one more shot. Probably not.

Presidential politics is kind of like the March Madness tournament. One and done. McCain made it to the final four last go around, was kind of robbed, and his division is particularly weak this series, so he gets another shot.

"five more days and the witch is dead"

That would be Glenda, of course. Wait, she died some time ago, it will be official in five days.

The thought doesn't frighten me at all.

Behavioral economics for 1000, Alex,

A: The host feels this towards Obama/Biden

B: What is the endowment effect?

Come on. Are these clowns really that much better? If experience really mattered, wouldn't we only get to select from people who have been president? At a certain point, as in when you leave the echo chamber and enter the executive, gaffes matter. Okay, so they are more likely to appoint people with letters after their names, but those appointees are really not any more likely to have a reality-based ideology.

I'm not one for self-congratulatory, aloof indecision masquerading as independent thinking, but I'm also not a big fan of self-delusion.

I'm all for punishing the Republicans, but not by poking myself in the eye. Why not just say "hey a-holes, I'm not voting for you turkeys because you've been jerks and your cynical choice for a candidate and his half-assed campaign doesn't address your credibility problem." Why pretend the alternative is that much better?

McCain really isn't Bush. He's closest to Bush on the economy and trade. Is that bad? The most important thing is to deny whoever wins any sense of mandate. So, don't encourage them.

For those who think it is actually important, but not enough to have actually thought about it (pdf)

People who don't make the list of Obama's list of "real" Americans:

Jews (especially the pro-Israel, clinging to religion type)
Catholics (especially the pro-life, clinging to religion type)
Whites (even if they are his grandparents)
Hunters & Second Amendment types (clinging to their guns)
Judges (only the type he doesn't like-that don't misuse their office)
Military (depending on whether he's cutting the military or not)
Investors (other than Buffett & Soros, if you call Soros an investor)
Hoteliers (who don't meet his wife's requests for Iranian Caviar)
Flat, Fair, Reformed and Reduced Tax Advocates

Another MR post designed to attract lots of traffic with comments that will likely result in many unpersuasive (from all sides) flames and retorts....

Traffic down Alex?

Fox News will give Palin a talk show and there she will stay.

Guys, everything is relative. I don't find the low likelihood of Palin presidency has frightening as the high probability of an Obama presidency. The major difference between them is that Palin actually has executive experience. But then maybe someone with experience with shady real estate operatives in Chicago would have a gut understanding of the construction collapse.

Palin can't handle an interview she can't handle a press conference. She's not qualified for president. If McCain thought more interviews or press conferences would dispel the feelings that Palin was incredibly ignorant, and just plain not bright enough to be president, the campaign would have more interviews. They don't think that is the case and I am inclined to trust them.

I bet you didn't think that Dole was too inexperienced when he ran up against Clinton in 1996. No executive experience after all! Find me someone who disagrees with Palin's ideology but prefers her based on experience or competence and I'll buy you a coke. There are a number of people who are ideologically closer to McCain than Obama but prefer Obama based on his personal characteristics. Palin is a non starter. If you want a social and fiscal conservative with actual accomplishments and an intellect equal to the job Jindal will be there in 2012. He's much better than the flight attendant McCain chose.

Frightening? You mean "best news I'll hear today."

There are a great number of women who can talk in complete sentences and not wink repeatedly at the camera during a debate who would not solicit that criticism.

Since 1840 and the solidification of the two-party system. Only one VP loser has gone on to the White House. That would be FDR.

Oh, sure, Palin has executive experience. But George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter have years of not just executive experience, but experience actually as president! Surely that means they'd both be a better president than she would, right?

Or maybe we can admit that experience, executive or otherwise, is only one factor that should be considered in selecting a president. Grasp of issues, knowledge of the US and the world, ability to make and clearly articulate plans, organizational ability, political opinions, personal beliefs, and just plain old intelligence ought to count for something. Right?

There were plenty of more qualified candidates for the Republic VP ticket. They all had better things to do than be the running mate on a losing ticket. This campaign is not the kind of thing anyone wants on their resume if they go looking for the nomination in 2012.

McCain might die in office not only because of age issues, but also because terrorists have a greater incentive to consider alternative means to take him out of office. Why? So that the U.S. is stuck with a remarkably weak president -- Palin.

This might increase her probability, no?

Dave, if I were a rogue leader I would fear Palin more than anybody else. She strikes you as "weak"? She doesn't seem weak to me. Ignorant, yes. But afraid to use violence? Isn't she a hunter? Isn't that one of SNL's raps against her?

And if McCain got taken out by terrorists, you're saying Palin would be afraid to order a counterstrike because (a) her moral beliefs wouldn't condone it, or (b) the American people wouldn't back her?

But afraid to use violence? Isn't she a hunter.

Hunting isn't violence.

obama's community organizing is worthy of respect, not so palin's time on the PTA?
obama's time in state legislature is worthy of respect, not so palin's time as mayor, then head of an important commission in her state?
obama's two years in senate before running for president is worthy of respect, not so palin's two years as highly liked governor?

and that's comparing a starter (obama) to second string (palin). i can't see how, objectively, this doesn't undermine the case for obama, rather than undermine the case for palin. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying there aren't many reasons to vote for obama. i've just never understood how people think attacking palin for inexperience, while supporting obama, makes any sense.

i also love how people think palin's an idiot. almost by definition, a woman with no political connections/family (i.e., not HRC) and no money (i.e., not edwards or bloomburg or romney) who becomes governor of a state has to be pretty sharp (any of you all dissing palin done anything half as worthwhile?). whatever.

Mr Foody: There are a great number of women who can talk in complete sentences and not wink repeatedly at the camera during a debate who would not solicit that criticism.

From a comment I left at Winds of Change a while ago:

As to Palin herself, her Gibson-Couric interviews were dreadful. I continue to believe that those were less reflective of her actual abilities than the material available about her from before her selection. I think she's less qualified than her most ardent defenders claimed post-pick, and more qualified than her harshest critics claim. Her strongest qualification is not in experience or expertise, but in the act of principle she performed in taking on the Alaska GOP establishment from her Oil and Gas Commission position. That's a character qualification, not a philosophy or policy qualification, and it is similar in some ways to McCain's strongest [typo in original fixed] qualification.

I venture that there are not a great number of women, or men, who share that kind of item on their resume. Would I prefer someone with stronger qualifications in other areas? Sure. Do I agree with her on everything? Hell, no. But I agree with Rare Female Reader that your characterization is sexist. Sadly, it's not unusually sexist.

If she does recover her political career, and become a serious contender for the top spot in 2012, she will have to have worked on her areas of weakness in the intervening years. Otherwise, she becomes a footnote in history.

dj, I agree with you on the inexperience meme. "Experience", sometimes referred to throughout this election cycle as "executive experience," isn't all it's cracked up to be. GWB had "executive experience" and look where that got us.

As for Palin, I'd call her calculating. How you can watch any of her painful interviews or speeches and come away thinking she has an IQ above 110 just floors me. I can't even say that she's only lacking in book smarts.

Her gaffes would be laughable if it weren't so scary to hear otherwise sane people sloughing it off.

actually, GWB had little experience compared to just about any other president we've had, though he'd obviously been around politics alot, and apparently the governor of TX doesn't do much. so he's actually somewhat like obama. GWB undermines the claim that good advisers can make up for deficits in a candidate's experience (regardless what you think of how cheney and rumsefeld performed, on paper, they were great advisers). as for palin, i don't see the idiocy (at least, no more than most other politicians), so you may just have to accept that rational, informed, educated folk can disagree on this.

palin likely is ignorant, in the sense that she hasn't been on the trail for 2 years like everyone else, and thus already asked every question under the sun, and wasn't prepping to be VP either. if palin goes home to AK and starts the reading the papers, following the issues, i predict she'll be a holy terror by 2012, able to knock most questions out of the park. YMMV, obviously.

To me the frightening thing is that there is a near 100% probability that one of these bozos (Obama, McCain, Palin, Biden) will be our president.

How you can watch any of her painful interviews or speeches and come away thinking
she has an IQ above 110 just floors me.

IQ has nothing to do with speaking ability. Speaking ability is vastly overrated. You want
a great orator, think Germany 1930's.

How exactly has Obama demonstrated a "world-class" intellect. You melt when he speaks? A world-class
intellect would have some private sector accomplishment other than a law degree, some published work
other than a autiobiography, and an ability to think through economic issues with something more
sophisticated than "spreading the wealth".

What Obama shares with several recent presidents (Clinton & Reagan come to mind) is the ability to
mask some emotional deficiency by appearing to be engaging and empathic. Reading his book reveals a
troubled individual with furious ambition and attachment to abstraction (exactly what is a
"structural" feminist?) All three seemed to be compelled to seek approval as the result of the
lack of a solid father figure in their life. Of course, going further back, you find episodes of
what we would now refer to as depressions, manias or other "issues" in people such as Kennedy, FDR,
Teddy R, and Abe Lincoln.

We need to start regarding presidents as employees, kings or messiahs. Particularly appalling is the
concept of economic captaincy.

She is preferable to the other three simply by dint of the fact that she is not part of the inept kleptocracy that has led us where we are.

Democrats say she lacks experience and intelligence. She has at least as much experience as Obama and, my God, my dog is smarter than Biden.

Not frightening. It's one of the main (and few) reasons for voting for McCain. Better her than any of the other three. She's the only possibility of having a decent president within the next four years.

Superheater: people who speak with candor don't refer to Obama as "B. Hussein Obama." That term is pretty much reserved for (1) people trying to play on the ethnic fears of people or (2) the barking mad people who buy into what (1) is selling. By the way, liberalarts is based on the ancient, traditional method of education, with the "liberal" component based in the same root as "liberate."

Liberal Arts:

As it's the man's middle name, I can't imagine why he'd conceal it. The only other president
that wished to conceal his middle name was James Earl Carter, because he feared being confused
with James Earl Ray. Look where that got us.

Being truly liberal (in the Acton sense) means having a healthy disrepect for
occupants and aspirants to power, especially the ones showing signs of egomania and narcissism, who
erect columnar backgrounds to portray grandeur. Once again, he's a job applicant, not a messiah and I
reserve the right to flip him, McCain, Biden, Palin or anybody else off.

I have fears with regard to anybody who allows themself to be referred to as the "one" and had he not
made the gaffe about "my muslim faith", it would carry no weight.

I have no fears about the color of his skin. Its the thinness that bothers me.

Don't project your stereotypes on me. You are only proving the modern "liberal arts" is brainwashing.

I guess you should have known (or did know) that you would get mostly boring ideological comments.
Like you, I DID think it was quite an interesting calculation, whether one likes Palin or not. Another reason I read MR blog.


Mr. Belvedere will be her first guest on "Palin, Talking Points" the afternoon gabfest, FOX's first foray into weekday afternoon programing.....I love it Mr. Belvedere, that's great

Superheater, I don't know why J. Sidney McCain is hiding his own middle name either. Any ideas?

The repetition of "Hussein" merely reveals many Republicans' racism, in as clear-cut and unmistaken way as you can make. You attack a man for sharing his African father's African name, not anything he chose about himself. And you choose to focus on his middle name because in these times a Northern-African descent is even worse than a Sub-Saharan African descent.

"I have no fears about the color of his skin"

Yes, and if you weren't so much focusing on his African descent by referring to his paternal name, we might even believe you about it.

"Don't project your stereotypes on me."

Sorry, it's you who are a walking stereotype: ooh, you're not attacking him for his *race*, you're merely attacking him for not changing his name to a whiter one. Like I've never heard that one before.

Or are you telling me you'll be attacking Bobby Jindal, because he isn't calling himself "Piyush"?

What happened to the previous VP Losers

2004 Edwards, competed for nomination and lost in 2008
2000 Lieberman, competed for nomination and lost in 2004
1996 Kemp, Out of electoral politics, I believe
1992 Quayle, thought briefly of running in either 96 or 2000 but barely got past the organizing stage
1988 Bensten, served in the Clinton Adm., but never ran again
1984 Ferraro, ran for NY Senate seat
1980 Mondale, won 84 Dem Nomination
1976 Dole, won 96 Rep Nomination
1972 Shriver, ????
1968 Muskie, competed for nomination and lost in 1972

If McCain get's elected, some Right Wing Christian wack job will take him out believing Got told him to make Sarah President, she will Pursue a direction that will make George W Bush look like a flaming Liberal!

Superheater, it's amusing to tell me I can't read, when you failed to notice I'm not "Liberal arts", I'm a new poster.

Bobby Jindal -- the world class intellect that believes a good exorcism can cure you of cancer.

But yeah, I guess I don't believe you really care about race one bit -- you're merely utilizing racism for your own purposes. That's why you ludicrously attack Barack Obama as supposedly sensitive about his name (when he didn't change it), but you don't attack Bobby Jindal for his sensitivity when *he's* the one who adopted a "white" name.

Once again? Why don't you attack Jindal for his sensitivity about *his* name?

And I'm mostly a laissez-faire liberal btw -- I'm only on the "left" from the skewed point of view of American theocrats who think that you need to bash gays and support torture to be on the "right".

Alex - you've missed another possibility which increases McCain's odds:

P(McCain 2012)

Assume McCain loses this tuesday. Obama wins, the economy tanks for real, maybe there's a major terrorist attack or a botched war or something. McCain runs in 2012 as the "I told you so" candidate. Odds of such a scenario occurring after an Obama election: 50%. Odds of McCain securing the Republican nomination in such a scenario: 10%. Odds of McCain winning after being nominated: 60%. 0.5*0.1*0.6*0.84=0.0252. Total P(McCain) = 0.16+0.0252 = 0.1852.

You know what frighten me the most about McCain dying while being president?

Nancy Pelosi could be one heartbeat away from the presidency...

I couldn't be buggered to read all 84 comments, but it occurs to me that the biggest knock on Palin is her lack of experience. Assuming she spends another 4-6 years as governor and maybe spends some time in a different elected office, wouldn't that make P(Palin|Not McCain) a less "frightening thought"? Similarly, the odds of her being president includes her being president after spending 8 years as VP.

she makes me want to go Para Sailin'.

I am pretty sure that economists are largely going to Obama for reasons other than their tax policies. Some economists are concerned about the deficit run up under Bush, and believe -rightly or wrongly- that Obama will better contain that. McCain has boxed himself in fiscally by promising lower taxes, more military and no ss cuts. Obama may blow it by increasing spending a lot, but at least he has a chance. However, I believe that the majority of economists with our various levels of libertarian tendencies just can't stand the socially conservative message that McCain/Palin are spouting. The McCain of four or five years ago would get better results, but his moves to get the socially conservative base on board drive most of us away. And for those who don't get whipped into a froth over abortion or gays rights or nonseparation of church and state, etc., there is the war and foreign policy. Most PhD economists have a reasonable amount of contact with foreigners and foreign travel, and it is pretty difficult to find foreigners from any country who think that Bush or his war are acceptable. Anyway, that is my take.

I don't get it. I don't get how any economist could even remotely consider voting for a candidate who would have a supportive Congress

Because as smart as many of them are, most economists, like academics in general, are incredibly naive about how Washington works. What counts is not the theatre presented to the world in DC, not the public words spoken by politicians, but the reality of the consequences (and, in a few cases, the good intentions), especially the unintended consequences, of policy enacted into law.

Not to mention the almost universal desire to avoid accepting any kind of responsibility for the messes our elected officials and bureaucrats make by trying to create wealth by "reforming" the private sector.

Every aspect of the mortgage mess is a prime example. (Barney Frank or Harry Reid or Ted Stevens as examples of our "wise elders"? Let's have them fix our problems. Sheeesh.)

And guess who pays for these mistakes? It's not the demagogues in DC who play with my (and your) money. (And, in case you need a reminder, if you don't pay your taxes, you can go to jail.)

Central planning doesn't work. But it appears that we will have to relearn that lesson over the next 10 to 20 years....

Hey you Sarah fans,

I'm just wondering -if Sarah Palin weighed 50 lbs more than she does, or was 15 yrs older, or was a male with so little inclination toward intellectual inquiry and analysis - would you still be swooning?

No way! Any guy who isn't terrified to think of such an intellectually lazy person as President is "thinking" with some organ other than his brain. Fans of the female persuasion might want to consider counseling to get over the high school cheerleader envy thing at some point.

Picking her as VP was a desperate gimmick by McCain to energize his campaign (mission accomplished among some, thanks to modern America's obsession with good looks and youth). Thank God at least some Americans can put thoughtful observation and critical thinking ahead of such superficial nonsense. I hope you'll choose to become one of us before Tuesday. of THE most sexist things one can do is hold attractive women to a lower standard than others (men or women).

Sure, she's overqualified in terms of executive experience, as compared to the current "frontrunner."

But that does that really make her "frightening"?

Or is this just your basic misogyny combined with GOP-is-Satan talk?

OK Alex the jig is up; you are faking your support of Obama in order to rile people up on MR, right?

OK, OK, I won't tell anyone of your cunning; oops.

Hey you Sarah Haters,

I'm just wondering -if Sarah Palin weighed 50 lbs more than she does, or was 15 yrs older-She'd be Hillary!

or was a male with so little inclination toward intellectual inquiry and analysis - She'd be Biden. Ooh, I ride trains! Choo Choo.

But then again "community organizing" and sitting for 20 years in a hate-filled pew is so enlightening. You think the guy would pas "Das Kapital" on the economics bookshelf.

(mission accomplished among some, thanks to modern America's obsession with good looks and youth). Thank God at least some Americans can put thoughtful observation and critical thinking ahead of such superficial nonsense. I hope you'll choose to become one of us before Tuesday.

Right, and Obama's getting credit for grey hair. No thanks, I prefer to think for myself! I've had enough superficial nonsense in a double dose "hope and change".

foreign nations

I mean foreign nationals. Stupid autocomplete!

The quality of this thread has been so abysmally low,
and emotions are so high this close to the election, that
it is surely a waste of time to post. But, I cannot resist,
given that after 102 comments not a single person has raised
the obvious question. So, what has been the quality of this
"executive experience" that Sarah Palin has had, and does that
say anything about her qualifications to be VP or prez?

So, apparently the first thing she did as Mayor of Wasilla
was to fire anybody whom she did not feel exhibited sufficient
"personal loyalty" to her. She ran into a limit with the City
Council when she tried to fire the public librarian for not
being willing to allow Palin to personally ban books from the
public library. I love this, libertarians loving a would-be
book banner.

Then she set about redecorating her office for something like
$50,000 without authorization from the CC. When challenged on
this, she declared that she did not care and would do what she
wanted unless a judge told her not to. Of course, as governor
she charged the state for living in her own home, for transporting
her kids to a conference in New York, where they stayed in a posh
hotel. And now we have the $150,000 wardrobe, although the ultimate
blame for that seems to be unclear. Looks like a tendency to venality
and personal corruption to me, at every level she gets to.

As for policies in Wasilla, well, one might say that was a smooth to
shift the tax burden from property owners to big box store owners.
However, in a city with no sidewalks and sewage problems, she broke
the budget, leaving the city with a huge deficit in order to build
a sport complex. Well, maybe that was locally popular. After all,
it does apparently have a skating rink, and I am sure she is not the
only hocky mom in Wasilla.

So, then we get to the governorship. Ah ha! So, she has been the
great libertarian capitalist, raising taxes on the oil companies who
drill and pump out the oil that is, as Palin proudly described it,
"owned collectively by the people of Alaska!" in other words, state
ownership of the means of production. Boy, I really love it when
libertarians get all excited about supporting socialism.

Then she vigorously supported the "Bridge to Nowhere," until, of course,
she didn't, after everybody else attacked it, although she still kept the
federal money (although I am sure that was popular with Alaskans). There
is, however, the minor problem of her having claimed to have been opposed
to the Bridge to Nowhere as the centerpiece of her acceptance piece at the
convention. But, heck, what is some lying among politicians anyway?

There is also her claim to have negotiated a natural gas pipeline to run
through Canada to the lower 48, which has been loudly trumpeted and blown
to huge scale during the campaign. She did do so action on that, although
so far all that has been accomplished has been to pass a bill to fund a
Canadian consulting company to work on a possible plan for it. It most
definitely has not been negotiated, not with Canada anyway. So much for
foreign policy experience, although I know she did shake the hands of a few
foreign leaders in New York in September.

Then we get to this ugly matter of her being officially reprimanded by a
bipartisan investigation of her abuse of office in trying to get her former
brother-in-law fired. She was repeatedly warned, as were her aides (and husband)
doing her bidding on this, that this was illegal. She could not do this. But,
her attitude, as with redecorating her office in Wasilla without permission,
seemed to be that she is above the law, a supreme being. The details of her
vendetta against Mike Wooten are simply appalling. The most trenchant comment
came from the judge in the divorce case who asked the Palin family if they had
lost their minds, trying to get this man they wanted to pay child support fired
from his job! I am not the least surprised that a McCain aide has labeled her
"a wack (whack) job." About time somebody close called it.

Finally, we have her view of the vice presidency. She agrees with Cheney that it
is some sort of extra-constitutional office, beyond the legislative and executive
branches. So, what we have is someone who is personally corrupt monetarily, who
behaes in a dictatorial and tyrannical way in office, engages in barely sane personal
vendettas (including allowing her husband to use her office who was close friends with
the leader of the Alaska Secession Party, who was blown up recently in the middle of
plastiques explosive transaction), and lies repeatedly, along with being massively
ignorant about important matters of state.

Some "executive experience." The person who implied that she would be an improvement
over Cheney should be duly ashamed of such nonsense.

** Wow OPC..way to show your true colors as a sexist - you forgot though - even if you frequently disagree with Hillary (as do I), at least Hillary has some knowledge of the law, the constitution and international affairs. Palin is obviously smart, but lazy - too busy making herself look pretty to pander to "thinkers" like you, I suppose. Her blind ambition, combined with unwillingness to educate herself on major topics, is the part I find most frightening.

Everytime somebody opens a reply or retort with the the dismissal of [insert aggreived group adjective here]-ist, I wonder about the quality of their argument. Those charges have been so mal- and mis- applied that they've lost meaning. The great arsenals of sexism and racism are on the left. In the left's view, people aren't individuals, but members of some class or group that is collectively either benevolent or evil. I really lost patience with it a decade and a half ago when I intuited OJ was guilty and characterized the circus that was his trial as a miscarriage of justice and was hit with the "racist" by a "friend". I'm still waiting for the apology.

But as to the point of Hillary's supposed knowledge-I don't buy that either. Given a chance to affect public policy (solely by virtue of being married to the President), she assembled a few hundred of her closest friends in Jackson Hole Wyoming to remake medicine in her image, without any public input or review. As disgusting an exercise in attempted oligarchy as we've seen, the seedier details of her plan included provisions for civil and criminal penalties for attempting to provide for medical care outside the confines of the government "system". Apparently, she missed the lectures at Yale on things like freedom of association. Despite the fact she's a lawyer, we're supposed to accept her as an expert on healthcare-even by that pompous *ss, Newt Gingrich. Part of education is epistimological-Hayek should have convincing destroyed the notion of command and control centralized bureacracy for reasonable people and a person we are all told is so intelligent should know that. Trust me, as a former Medicare/Medicaid auditor, I have plenty of informed reason to distrust government provide healthcare, with its fraud, inefficiency and perverse incentives.

Beyond her academic career, and employment at the Rose Law Firm, everything Hillary has done has been obtained because of Bill. Am I to think for a minute that Bill's place in Arkansas politics had nothing to do with her Walmart association?

Moreover, you overlook the obvious-and for the record-I seriously doubt Palin is perfect, because no one is-but Hillary's peccability and "blind ambition" is far more pervasive, durable and institutional.

Nor am I convinced that Palin's foibles-real or imagined are anything near as damning as Reverend Wright, Tony Reszko (once again, too lazy to check spelling), the curious flow of megabucks coming to a candidate claiming to represent the impoverished or his use of an earmark to reward his wife's employer after she received a huge raise just after he was elected.

I do know that the left routinely engages in hero worship and seems incapable of recognizing it.

Routinely, the left attributes undeserved acclaim to its standard-bearers (FDR extended the depression, didn't end it) or fails to allocate blame (mortgage crisis: CSR, Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd & the rest of the Fannie Mae cheerleaders) or delves in the idiotic (9-11 was an inside job by the "Jews" who were all at home, or Bush, or...) or imparts mystical power to people (Camelot).

Actually, the left should know all about unqualified-we had to have a law against Presidential nepotism, because the most qualified Attorney General candidate available to JFK was the President's 30-something brother), who absent a murder would've been nominated in a hagiographic fit.

I am being thoughtful in voting for McCain, I decided that despite the infinitesimal marginal value of my vote, I won't cast it for Barr or another third-party candidate I might prefer to McCain.

Voting for president for me is just a means to an end -- getting a person from the party most in line with my way of thinking into an executive position. What else can we do? Does anyone really believe that our political system selects the best, most qualified person to be president? Politicians run for the office, for God's sake. It's all a crap shoot on who would turn out to be a decent executive officer anyways. If the United States' success was based on electing great leaders, we'd have been screwed long ago. So I don't look for "the best person". We don't know who that would be. That guy was lucky enough to choose a career other than politics to go into.

The quality of this thread has been so abysmally low,
and emotions are so high this close to the election, that
it is surely a waste of time to post.

Your post lowered the quality even more.

Phil, Superheater, I wasn't born during the Second World War. If you want to keep revealing yourselves as bloody racists, keep bashing people for their blood and their ancestors. "ooh, he's Kenyan, ooh, he's European, ooh his ancestors are such and such."

Yes, Phil, you have relatives that died for some of my own relatives' freedom. And I have some relatives that died under a dictatorship supported by other relatives of yours. Either way it's only a racist however that thinks the virtue and the vice magically transfers itself through the BLOOD. Every word you speak makes you all more obvious you're such a racist. It's your WORDS that condemn you, not your blood.

And Phil, people have been tortured to death in Bagram. Innocent people. Taxi-drivers. Tortured TO DEATH. I've seen the photos, I've read the testimonies, why the hell haven't you? Why the hell are you still ignorant enough to think that the Abu Ghraib photos represented the worst that US torturers have done?

And, Superheater, I LOVE America. I LOVE America far more than I like my own country. I want it to be the leader of a free world (since the EU is too weak and divided to achieve such leadership). That's why it makes me so angry when I see Bush destroy any possibility of such. And that's why I support Obama: the candidate that has the best chance to raise America to be the leader of the free world once more.

But you and Phil keep repeating things about your ethnic/racial virtues and my ethnic/racial shames. That'll convince me for sure you two aren't racists. Go on.

Well reading all those was sure fun. Such a nice break from reality I almost got off the couch and took action!

The check: the president doesn't matter. Nobody's going to double taxes or start 3 more wars, and nobody is going to allow anyone who actually believes that to make any decision bigger than picking their own TV channel. Relax: your vote is important enough to be informed, but not important enough to panic about.

Still need a fix? Start with MikeDC's Nov. 1st post. Insightful posts like that just do not come often enough.

Barkley Rosser - at first I assumed you were just a troll repeating all the Dem talking points.

But wow - I bet students with and open mind and even an ounce of intellectual curiosity feel pretty welcome in your classroom. With such original thinking spouted by the prof and all.

But thanks for posting. My high school senior read your rant, followed your link, and said, "Just another reason not to apply there. He's an example of profs who don't think for themselves."

Oh, this is amusing. Two folks have replied to my
comment, neither of them even providing a phoney moniker,
just blank IDs. So, the first says that my comment "lowered
the quality" of the discourse, but then did not provide a
single instance of anything in my comments that deserved
such a description.

Then comes another comment, also from someone without a
moniker of any sort, perhaps the same individual. This
one seems to think that I do not allow open-mindedness in
my classrooms and quoted his/her senior-in-high-school
son as thinking that I cannot think for myself and that
the son does not want to apply to my school.

So, regarding my teaching, in over 30 years of doing it,
I have never had a student complain to anyone of me showing
political bias of any sort in my classroom (and I do not
discuss Palin or candidates in my classrooms). I encourage
students to express strong views in their papers, but I
also say that they will be graded on the logic and facts
that they bring to bear to support their arguments.

In any case, neither of these comments addressed the facts
that I put forward at all. Either they are correct (which
appears to be the case), even if they are "Democratic talking
points" (some of the GOP talking points about Obama are
correct), they are unimportant compared to her virtues,
whatever they are, or they are in fact good things that she
should be praised and commended for.

I have seen none of these argued or addressed in the comments
made, only silly remarks that are either wrong or misleading.

Anybody out there able to either show that Palin's reported
efforts to fire the public librarian, mess up the Wasilla
budget, lie about the bridge to nowhere, engage in corrupt
spending of money for her offices and family, or engaging in
personal vendetta against her former brother-in-law by using
her office are either false, irrelevant, or good things?

It is enlightening!

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