The Right to Be Offended

I continue to be astounded at the number of people who choose to be offended by things that don’t exist. I refer this time to a story in the 31 August 2008 issue about the Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin:

Oh, What the Heck

In an interview on CNBC months before being picked as Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate, Alaska’s first-term governor Sarah Palin seemingly had no idea what the job might entail. Asked then whether she would consider an offer to be vice president, Palin replied, “I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day.” (Los Angeles Times) …Of course, most Americans wonder exactly the same thing.

Who Could Be Bothered by That? Whiners.

I very purposefully chose not to slam her — it would be inflammatory, sure, but who in the world hasn’t wondered what the heck the V.P. does, other than incessantly check on the health of the President?

Rather than jump on some bandwagon pounding on someone I hadn’t even heard of when she was named (just two days before I wrote the story), thus adding to the boring piling on of an unknown person, I chose instead to commiserate with her.

So what does that bring? Accusations (from people who choose to be offended) that I’m “bashing” the woman.

More specifically, there’s Bill, who signed himself a Partner in a marketing firm in Minnesota, who wrote:

Since you have decided to lead with this article and condone and perpetrate this agenda of destroying this woman, I will NEVER EVER read or subscribe to this trash ever. I am not a conservative, I am a husband, father and brother of many women.

Remove me from this email subscription and I hope, like US WEEKLY, you get what you deserve

Shame on you and I truly hope your antics get the results YOU deserve.

(All emphasis, including the underlined bold red, is from the original.)

I guess if I didn’t write that particular story first (and thus “led with it”), it’d be fine?

Can’t Help Him

So I replied, asking Bill exactly what he had a problem with. As for his demand that I unsubscribe him from my mailings, I pointed out that he agreed to manage his own subscription.

One of many reasons I require that is (gee: guess what?!) the address Bill was writing from isn’t on any of my distribution lists. In addition to having to figure out why he’s offended by the article, I’m supposed to also read his mind to discover which address he used to subscribe to my newsletter? Uh huh.

Bill did in fact reply to me:

Come on, it’s just a reinforcement of Liberal views to discredit her. Name ONE article the LA Times has ever written to support this person or any person that disagrees with their views.

Why not write an article about all people that have no idea what the VP does. Why not write about Rangel lying, cheating and getting interest free mortgages, not reporting income form investments and I’m sure he knows what the VP does and what his responsibility is to his people.

Your headline says it all, I will not support any magazine, blog…anything that tries to slant their coverage in order to discredit a person purely for support of their own agenda.

Your write is to write, mine is to not read it.

Enough said. I have unsubscribed

So, agreeing with the woman is part of some sort of vast Liberal conspiracy “to discredit her.” Got it. No, he’s not paranoid!

Apparently too, his dig at the Los Angeles Times is an implication that it made up the quote. Here’s a video of her saying it:

So CNBC news faked this response in her interview? No, he’s not paranoid!

Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don’t

Bill complained, “Why not write an article about all people that have no idea what the VP does.” Yet that’s exactly what I did.

And as for my challenge to point to one specific thing in my article that’s objectionable, he couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. Because I don’t think there’s anything there that is objectionable.

And my slug for the story (“Oh, What the Heck”) “says it all,” Bill says. Um, says what, again? It says that she essentially turned away talk of her being the nominee because she didn’t know what the V.P. did, but hey, she wasn’t doing anything else that day and accepted when offered the job.

That’s a Slam? Boy, I’m guessing Palin isn’t as thin-skinned as Bill, or she’d already be a quivering mass of melted jelly by now. Kind of like Bill.

I’m not sure what his point is regarding “US WEEKLY”, a gossip magazine that I don’t read. I checked Wikipedia, which notes “As of 2007, its circulation is over 1.85 million on average.” So I guess Bill is wishing my circulation would increase by many, many times? I’m not sure. But I do agree I deserve a much bigger audience.

As for my “write” to write, Bill also has a “right” to shove his head up his ass, as he ably demonstrates. (Maybe that’s why I can’t understand a thing he says.) I’m sure he’d assert he also has a “write” to be offended by anything, including public agreement with women who mesmerize him. Whatever.

Then it Gets Funny

There’s a specific reason I decided to post this entry: I went to Bill’s marketing company web site. On the front page is a link to his blog. I clicked it and found it has a pop-up warning to anyone who dares read his blog:

WARNING: Entry into Billville has been known to cause irrational behavior, hot-flashes, mood-swings, complete loss-of-words, excessive blinking, sudden tingling and in some more extreme cases, complete paralytic shock leading to full body unconsciousness.

Billville is not recommended to those who are not legal citizens of the United States, pregnant, under the age of 21 or under the influence of anything sobering.

And featured on the front page once you dismiss the warning is this graphic, complete with the caption shown:

bill cryin - The Right to Be Offended
Quit Yer Cry’n

Just the concept is astounding, isn’t it?! But wait: it gets even better!

The cartoon heads an editorial he has on his blog about why is it Americans are so unhappy. He notes, “Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.”

And That’s When I Realized It! It wasn’t until I read Bill’s blog that I fully and completely grasped it: just like I have my photo on my blog, his isn’t a cartoon at all. It’s a self portrait. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

Anyway, because Bill never did tell me what address he used to subscribe, I couldn’t look it up to see how long he has been reading True. Could be weeks, could be years. So I don’t know if he simply missed some actual political stories that have been in True (remember the actual slams against a president?!)

The only other thing on Bill’s blog was this:

My favorite personal quote is:

“I cannot think myself into acting….I must act myself into thinking!”

So he apparently understands the importance of thinking, yet can’t quite bring himself to do it. How very, very sad.

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81 Comments on “The Right to Be Offended

  1. Fine, let’s go over Palin

    – does not believe in Evolution and wants to teach Creationism in schools
    – she thinks abortion should be outlawed in all cases even rape and incest and certain death to the mother
    – lifetime member of the NRA, believes anyone should be able to buy an assault rifle with no wait on the streets of NYC
    – doesn’t have a passport, never left the country
    – asked the Wasilla library how to institute a system to ban books, had never heard of the 1st amendment when questioned about it
    – made city employees resign as a “test of loyalty” didn’t rehire anyone who opposed her in the election
    – routine power abuse, troopergate is the worst example
    – lied about her support for the “Bridge to Nowhere”
    – while on a radio show cackled and laughed when her opponent, a cancer survivor was called a “cancer” and a “bitch”

    Well, the topic of the post isn’t Palin, but rather Bill and his need to be offended. That said, while I agree Bill opened it up to wider discussion, and therefore have approved this comment, I hope I’ll also get comments on the actual topic. -rc

  2. Astounding Randy, truly astounding. I’ve been watching this whole thing very closely. Of course the amazing thing is the very same screaming right who say it’s all sexist are the same ones who screamed about Senator Hillary.

    (Shaking head)

    Maybe we should just go back to the days in the Old Testament where we read “And in those days everyone did what they thought was right in their own mind.”

  3. It really doesn’t matter if the average American has any clue what the vice president does. It does, however, matter if someone who actually aspires to that office knows! I can’t imagine going on a job interview and saying, “I have no idea what this position entails, but I really want it!” Most normal employers would laugh me out of the building if I said that, and with good reason. So yes, I think Palin’s comment is highly relevant to whether she’s qualified to be VP.

  4. John,

    What’d you do, lift this list directly from Mad Magazine?

    Allow me to bring you back to this reality:

    — does not believe in Evolution (UNKNOWN) and wants to teach Creationism in schools (FALSE)

    She’s open to the idea, but has not pushed for it nor does she support it being a mandatory part of the curriculum.

    — she thinks abortion should be outlawed in all cases even rape and incest and certain death to the mother

    She opposes abortion except when the life of the mother would otherwise be imperiled (Wikipedia)

    — lifetime member of the NRA, believes anyone should be able to buy an assault rifle with no wait on the streets of NYC

    Only the NRA part is true. She has not made her views known on assault rifles or NYC laws.

    — doesn’t have a passport, never left the country

    She has a passport and has traveled abroad to Kuwait, Germany and Canada.

    — asked the Wasilla library how to institute a system to ban books, had never heard of the 1st amendment when questioned about it

    The first is questionable since sources vary, the later is simply invective. Grow up.

    — made city employees resign as a “test of loyalty” didn’t rehire anyone who opposed her in the election

    More invective.

    — routine power abuse, troopergate is the worst example

    Routine? Please. In addition, she is welcoming the investigation into Troopergate. she fired a department head who had demonstrated an unwillingness to work with her on budgetary issues, but also offered him a position as the head of another department, which he declined.

    — lied about her support for the “Bridge to Nowhere”

    She did initially support the idea during her campaign before becoming governor, but hinted that she would consider alternatives late in the campaign, and then eventually canceled the project altogether shortly after taking office. She has never stated that she NEVER supported the bridge however, which would have been untrue.

    — while on a radio show cackled and laughed when her opponent, a cancer survivor was called a “cancer” and a “bitch”

    Oh wow, she laughed, guess that means she’s Satan. More invective, and really, a bit hypocritical considering the attacks on McCain who is a cancer survivor himself. In spite of the fact that she never used these labels herself she did however call Green and apologized.

    Really, if this is how misinformed you are about Palin (and likely about the whole race) you really should stay home on election day.

  5. BTW, completely forgot to comment on the original post: Bill obviously overreacted, though considering all the vicious smears and falsehoods on Palin (even in the comment above me!) I can see why people would jump the gun like this at any perceived slight on the governor. Cooler heads though will prevail. Like me. 😉

    I indeed gave Bill the opportunity to cool down, when I challenged him to state what specific part of the story bothered him. He failed that challenge. I appreciate your cooler reaction, and for remembering to comment on the post! -rc

  6. John, I don’t know where you’re getting this information, but I’d recommend you do some more research before posting lists like this. I don’t particularily like or support Palin, but many of the “facts” on this list are plain wrong. Let me clear it up for you. 🙂

    — does not believe in Evolution and wants to teach Creationism in schools

    Misleading. She wants to teach both and encourage debate. There’s nothing wrong with teaching kids that other people have different views.

    — she thinks abortion should be outlawed in all cases even rape and incest and certain death to the mother

    Absolutely wrong. She states that she opposes abortion in all cases EXCEPT when necessary to save the life of the mother.

    — lifetime member of the NRA, believes anyone should be able to buy an assault rifle with no wait on the streets of NYC

    This is an extrapolation. While she does oppose gun control, supports the right to bear arms and opposes the federal ban on handguns, she has never made statements like this. Illegal weapons are still illegal, and she is not (necessarily) bloodthirsty.

    — doesn’t have a passport, never left the country

    Total lie. A 5 second Google search brings up a series of pictures of Palin with soldiers in Kuwait – not a part of the United States.

    — asked the Wasilla library how to institute a system to ban books, had never heard of the 1st amendment when questioned about it

    She did HAVE A CONVERSATION about the potential of banning books with the librarian. I can’t say for sure, but Palin says the conversation was “rhetorical” – and it easily could have been. You can take anything out of context. I could have a conversation with a friend about how to hide a body – doesn’t mean I’m going to.

    There is nothing I can find anywhere regarding Palin not being aware of the First Amendment.

    — made city employees resign as a “test of loyalty” didn’t rehire anyone who opposed her in the election

    This I have no argument with.

    — routine power abuse, troopergate is the worst example

    That is one example. I don’t see any overwhelming evidence that it was “routine”. I’m not arguing, but I need proof to back up a statement – this is also par for the political course.

    — lied about her support for the “Bridge to Nowhere”

    True. As all politicians in the running have lied about something, and probably all politicians in general.

    — while on a radio show cackled and laughed when her opponent, a cancer survivor was called a “cancer” and a “bitch”

    True in a sense. She chuckles a little bit at a “shock jock” DJ on the radio show brutally insulting her political opponent – more out of shock than anything else. It sounds much more likely that she was caught off guard and the chuckle just slipped out. It certainly wasn’t a “cackle” or “laugh”.

    So, what can I tell you? I still don’t like and still don’t support Sarah Palin – but a little bit of opening your mind, doing some research, and getting your facts straight instead of just listening to what you’re told goes a very long way.

  7. I am saddened by Bill’s odd need to be offended by an innocuous story. It seems almost pathological. Perhaps he will seek therapy some day to find the root cause of whatever his problem is…

  8. That’s an interesting idea, though. Some people want to go through life without being offended. Can I claim the opposite?

    As a citizen of a free country, it is my right and duty to be offended.


  9. Randy (and others), as a Palin “supporter” I laughed at the article. I agree that there’s hypocrisy on both sides, which is part of the reason that I refuse to vote on strictly party lines — guess I was just raised to vote for the right person for the job, which sometimes included people whose views I disagreed with.

    I appreciate your newsletter and all of your efforts Randy, especially when you say something I disagree with. Unexamined beliefs are symptomatic of a diseased and diminishing mind. Thank you for helping me examine, and in some case reinforce, beliefs that are important to me.

    While I am considered “conservative” politically, I believe that the true meaning of “liberal” is more meaningful — I am willing to accept that other people have views that disagree with mine no matter how dearly held and willing to entertain the possibility that some of the truths that I hold dear may prove in the face of experience to be only partially true or even completely false.

    The value of a set of beliefs lies not in how you hold them in the face of vehement agreement, but in the light of facts that seem to challenge them and in that case volume is no substitute to humility. (Crow tastes so much better when you can nibble in private than when you’re forced to swallow it whole in public and nothing seems to be so fickle as “truth”. Wish I’d known that in my arrogant youth, but the only way to avoid mistakes is through experience, and the only way to get experience is to make mistakes…)

    Take care of yourself and thank you for serving a smorgasbord of things to think and talk about. The things I agree about are the desserts and the things I disagree with are the meat. One without the other would be either boring or dangerous.

    Gilbert: it seems to me you’re living the adage, “I cannot think myself into acting….I must act myself into thinking!” Thanks for showing Bill how it’s done, but I’m guessing he’ll miss the lesson. -rc

  10. “Billville is not recommended to those who are…under the influence of anything sobering.” My bet, Randy: he’s a drunk and he’s irrational. But I repeat myself.

  11. It’s my sad duty to remind you that since you are part of the Media, and as we all know the media has a liberal bias that you surely must also have a liberal bias. After all, what could be more liberally biased than simply quoting someone’s actual words? [*removes tongue from cheek*]

    Seriously, Bill seems to have a lot of backwards ideas. I’m not sure where he’s been overseas, but my experience has always been that although the US government and its foreign policy is generally disliked and distrusted, that American citizens (the ones that aren’t rude to everybody) are generally very well liked and respected. Most especially of one expresses opinions contrary to US foreign policy.

    I’m a very long-time subscriber (from the mid 90’s!), and I’m sure I’ve said this before, but don’t ever change what you do!

    (I’ve even enabled Javascript for your site… that’s how much I love you 😀 )

  12. It would be nice if the remainder of her statement – or even sentence would be included in that clip. She went on to inquire about what her day-to-day responsibilities would be (presumably over and above funeral attendance, senate tie-breaking, and, of course, the daily check to make sure McCain’s ticker is still tickin’), and threw in a bit about whether she could assist Alaska in that role. Cutting her sentence, as the clip does, makes it sound like she doesn’t even understand the basics. That would be especially ironic, being that she does have a Lt. Governor – a VP equivalent.

    BTW, the full clip is here.

  13. I suspect the reference to US Weekly is to the level of invective that’s currently pouring through their online forums after their cover story on Palin in this week’s issue.

    People declaring they will “never read that rag again”, people boasting of ripping up copies at the supermarket and stuffing the remains back into the magazine rack, and so on. (All anonymous comments, naturally – apparently they don’t have the courage of their convictions to post about vandalism and theft under their own names.)

    The most amusing thing is, most of the people posting this invective would appear to have read the headline “Babies, Lies and Scandal” and pre-judged the rest of the article. There’s even a website – which I won’t post the URL for as that would be free advertising, calling for people to boycott US weekly.

    I just think it’s all rather silly myself…

  14. Once I read the story for the first time, I *knew* that Randy was going to get comments like Bill’s (the Earth may run out of fuel, clean water, and food, but it will *never* run out of idiots!), glad to see that you at least tried to talk some sense into him.

    And Gilbert, your response is “le bon mot” in the feedback. Beautiful. I hope Randy prints it and has it framed somewhere, I hope we all do. (As I told someone recently, “politics and religion are two things that we should never take seriously, sadly, those are usually the top two on people’s lists.”)

  15. I know this isn’t what you posted this for, Randy, but I’ve gotta speak my piece about something that, to quote Peter Griffin, “Really Grinds My Gears!”

    John in Colorado exemplifies one of the most pathetic traits of human beings that always seems to come out in force around election time… He’s an exaggerator and distortionist, plain and simple. Allow me to clear away some of the b.s.

    Creationism – Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members. She has kept this pledge, according to the Associated Press.

    Palin has spoken in favor of classroom discussions of creationism, in some cases. “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” Palin told the Anchorage Daily News in a 2006 interview.

    Abortion – She opposes abortion in all cases EXCEPT endangerment of the mothers life, but has made it a point that she has no intention of challenging Roe v Wade.

    (On a personal note, I find it FASCINATING that all of womens rights seem to be tied in the media to a woman’s right to an abortion)

    NRA – While it is well documented she’s a member of the NRA (funny how some see a group that defends the 2ND Ammendment as bad and the 1ST Ammendment as righteous), I can find NOTHING that states she believes assault weapons should be sold on the streets of New York without a waiting period. Come on already…..

    PASSPORT – Didn’t have a passport until a few years ago…

    WASILLA LIBRARY – I cannot find ANY reliable sources to back this up… just a few unreliable notes in the blogosphere. The Detroit Free Press is as close to a real publication as I could find… and they’re basically a collection of blogs in print.

    TEST OF LOYALTY – She asked anyone who would not support her new administration to resign… and fired one who didn’t several months later. They were not asked to resign as a show of loyalty… that doesn’t even make any sense.

    ROUTINE POWER ABUSE – I have no idea where John pulls the word routine from… The only thing I’ve seen is this infamous “troopergate” which is essentially an ethics investigation into whether she abused her power as governor to pressure officials to fire her sister’s ex-husband, a state trooper who had been disciplined for drinking beer in his patrol car, illegally shooting a moose and firing a Taser at his 11-year-old stepson.

    I’m not sure about you, but if I were governor and found out about ANY state trooper behaving that way, I would have leaned on his boss to fire him, regardless of whether or there was a family connection. Given the connection, though… she probably should have handled it differently.

    BRIDGE TO NOWHERE – Hey! Something accurate! WOW! In the end she made the right call… regardless of whether or not 50 or so people got their feelings hurt that the government was not going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on them.

    RADIO CANCER – I’d love to hear this, but I can’t seem to find it online… and no major new outlet has carried any piece of this story so far as I can tell. I don’t judge anything until I hear it IN CONTEXT.

    If you can’t make your case with facts, do the world a favor and don’t chime in. There is already a deluge of misinformation in the world. The world doesn’t need your help adding to the pile, John.

    Randy… you go right on offending anyone you want. I thought the tagline was hysterical, especially given that I firmly believe it was a tongue-in-cheek way of getting out of answering the question in the first place. Did notice, she didn’t say yes or no?

  16. It’s amazing to me we cannot have an intelligent discussion — where is “agree to disagree agreeably”? It appears people want others to have an “open mind” — which is their way of saying; you need to agree with me.

    I would classify my political leaning as conservative libertarian — I want the government and others out of my affairs as much as possible, but I would like to think that I respectively listen to others opinion. I find as I get older I continue to learn how much I don’t know and there is so much that can be learned from others.

    Keep up the good work — you appear to tweak absurd thinking wherever you find it. I don’t know absolutely your political leanings — but don’t care. Thanks for posting the gripe and the research. Utterly amazing.

  17. To begin, I’m a Palin supporter. Having said that, I did not find the article (or tag line) offensive. It poked a little fun at her for not knowing what the job entailed and then accepting the nomination. One of the things I find refreshing about Palin is she’s not a life-long politician. So what if she didn’t know exactly what the Veep does? I have to assume that sometime between the quoted interview and the time she accepted the nomination, she found out.

    I’m assuming no one would have had a problem if this was posted “months before” she was chosen to run for V.P., but at that point it probably wasn’t True-worthy. It’s amazing how the same story will produce a different reaction based on changes in the political tide.

    I realize that this same story is being used by some as an attack on Palin and to those people, I’d just like to ask: Do you know what the V.P. does?

  18. being the clever monkey that i am, i thought i could find billville by googling for that essay. turns out it wasn’t written by bill. but maybe if you’ve been hunting around you have already figured that out.

    Don’t tell me you’re surprised to find he swiped it from somewhere?! -rc

  19. About the story itself: it was funny, topical and fair.

    As for Bill: It’s clear he’s upset, but can’t articulate a reason for his rage. That’s a good sign that he’s being unreasonable.

    Besides, unless he’s a paid subscriber, his “support” is rather small. He’s hurt himself more by spending the time to email a rant than you would be by losing his free subscription. (While he *did* cost you a little time by impelling you to email him, you neatly turned that into lemonade by creating this interesting webpage. It’s not always about money; sometimes a discussion like this is worth your time!)

    As for “all people that have no idea what the VP does”:

    (A) In America, you shouldn’t be able to graduate from high school without a basic knowledge of our Constitution, including what the VP does. It’s not that complicated a concept.

    (B) Palin isn’t one of the vast crowd of stupid people who don’t know what the VP does; she wants the job! If you’re trying to get a job, it’s really important to know what it is. Imagine applying to be This Is True’s webmaster and saying “I don’t know what it is, but I want the job”. Of course … that’s the point of the joke!

    About Palin herself: Rather than jump into the long back-and-forth — it is uncontested that she advocates teaching Creationism in science class (as opposed to a History of Religion class, where it might belong). She is therefore both a Creationist and anti-science. No amount of weasel-wording by her or her supporters changes that; I don’t know why Creationists are so ashamed of their beliefs.

  20. Heck, I have often wondered myself what the Vice President of the United States does on a daily basis, and a big LOL at “other than incessantly check on the health of the President”! That could be the truth if/when McCain/Palin are elected!

  21. I get the complimentary version of This Is True (which, I just noticed while typing this email, doesn’t abbreviate well), and usually have lots of compliments. I just read the Aug 31 edition, however, and was disappointed at the lead article.

    My disappointment is not about the topic, mind you. I have read enough of your work to know that you take shots at both sides. I am disappointed because I feel you failed to live up to the quality standards you usually advocate. By selecting a tiny snippet from a much longer statement, the press had a field day poking fun at the governor. This isn’t the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. But you are not “the press”; you are a guy who digs into stories and finds the important additional details before issuing a report, right?

    Palin’s statement had nothing to do with a lack of understanding about the role of the Vice President in our federal republic. As a sitting governor with little expectation of being selected for the post, she was making a deflection in a manner that expressed her desire to keep her state’s interests at the focus of her efforts. She wasn’t requesting a description of what a V.P. does, she was wanting to know what _she_ would be doing. The general gist was that she wanted to know what her new duties would be and how she could continue supporting her people back home while serving in that role. The problem was she phrased that in a way that allowed for an easy snip in the middle.

    We expect regular media to take the lazy way out and take the snip. We expect the opposing campaign to recognize the spin potential and take the snip. We expect the late-nite comics to make the snip because it provides cheap yucks. But we expect you to take a moment and listen to her complete answer. Apparently you didn’t do that this time around.

    You think I “dig into stories”? No, not even close. I comment on the news that is published; I never contact the sources to get more details. Ever. And I’m astounded that ANYONE would ever think so, considering how clear I’ve been about it since the very start. TRUE is news commentary which is meant to inform your thoughts on the human condition. -rc

  22. I can’t and won’t speak or try to speak for Bill, but I guess my objection to this article is that you just used a headline grabbing line to toss this out without using your common sense. Do you really think that she just decided “Oh, what the heck” and said, gee whiz, let’s jump into this whole thing? What fun it will be to allow my life to be shredded by people in an effort to destroy my personal and public life in an attempt to promote their own agendas? Does anyone still really think that this person was not “vetted” by McCain’s people and the RNC? Pure and simple common sense would make that assumption seemingly prove the old description of the word assume (ASS-U-ME). The only ones that didn’t vette Palin are members of the media who have openly stated that she won’t properly be considered a nominee until they “interrogate” and “grill” her (those are quotes from PBS right after her speech).

    I believe my disagreement also comes from the lack of two simple words in your tagline that would have made your attempt to “agree” with her crystal clear – end the tagline with “she does”, ie “Of course, most Americans wonder exactly the same thing she does”. Perhaps not grammatically correct, but it doesn’t leave the reader wondering if “most Americans” wonder about what the veep does or why she chose to accept, which on (at least MY) first reading, is what the article and tagline seem to present.

    Well, I can’t be held responsible for the minority who read things wrong. But let’s get to your main point: “Do you really think that she just decided ‘Oh, what the heck’ and said, gee whiz, let’s jump into this whole thing?” I’m sorry, but that’s really a stupid question. I don’t have access to her inner thoughts, so of course I don’t “really think” that’s what went through her mind. Might it appear to the public that she did that, based on her earlier apparent confusion? You bet. That’s called a comment on the news, and that’s what I do for a living. And dare I say, anyone with “common sense” (that doesn’t let their emotions jump into an overreacting defensiveness) would realize that without any effort at all. -rc

  23. The formal role of the vice president is stated in the constitution. The informal role seems to cover everything from creating the internet to hiding in secret bunkers. John Nance Garner described the value of the vice presidency in the following quote, the vice presidency wasn’t “worth a pitcher of warm piss.”

  24. Randy, all I can say about Bill’s rant is “You’re da..ed if you do and da..ed if you don’t”. Some people are just idiots.

    Now, to Doug’s comment

    “She wants to teach both and encourage debate. There’s nothing wrong with teaching kids that other people have different views.”

    Evolution is science. Creationism is religion, NOT science. Therefore it does not belong in science class. Feel free to debate it (Creationism) in a comparative religion class.

  25. I believe it was FDR’s Vice President John Nance Garner who once declared that “The Vice Presidency isn’t worth a pitcher of warm spit”. The Constitutional (or should it be “Conbreastutional”?) duties of the VP are clearly defined; to succeed the President in case of the President’s death or disability, and to be the President of the Senate, with the ability to break a tie vote. There are no others.

    There has not been any “traditional” role for the VP. None of FDR’s VPs had any responsibilities; when Truman came to the office, he was ignorant of the very existence of the nuclear weapons he was so soon to deploy. Tom Lehrer’s comic song “What Ever Became of Hubert” asked “Does Lyndon, recalling when he was VP, say ‘I’ll do unto you as they did unto me’?”

    On the other hand, Al Gore was fairly active during Clinton’s term, and the Nutroots have frequently accused Dick Cheney of practically usurping W’s role.

    Speaking myself as a dedicated Libertarian who will vote happily for Sarah Palin (yes, and the old coot, too, if I must), I don’t understand “Bill” accusing you of “bashing” Palin. First, I don’t think Palin was at all confused about the roll of the VP in the government; I think it FAR more likely that Palin’s answer was intended to be a flippant non-answer to the question “Are you in the running to be VP?” Similarly, when Tim Pawlenty was asked what the most essential attribute of a VP would be, he allegedly answered “Discretion”.

    Second, I know, “True” is supposed to be “informative”; but I subscribed because it is FUNNY. And I renew every 2 years because it is STILL funny.

    Lighten up, Bill. Some of Sarah’s best lines were GAG lines. Like the “difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull”. Like the comparison of a mayor to a community organizer was “responsibilities”.

    I suspect that Governor Palin will win the election for McCain IN SPITE OF himself, and that his long-term legacy will be that he selected Sarah Palin to be his VP nominee. And I wish Sarah Palin the best of luck as she goes on to serve her OWN 8 years as President.

  26. Your mention of some negative comments about the Sarah Palin story lead me to mention a little-known effect of reading True. It is a gradual, subtle change that comes over a person as they become a more careful reader, and a less easily offended one. As time goes on, the thin-skinned conservative and the hyper-sensitive liberal actually learn to laugh at themselves. At least, that has been my experience. So while the stories are funny, the real and lasting value of what you do (in my opinion), is a much-needed reality check for all of us. Thank you!

  27. Sarah Palin isn’t stupid. No one has accused her of that. Most of the criticisms are of inexperience, greed, vindictiveness, zealotry, and hypocrisy.

    This is a woman who touts her Christianity, but based on the number of former enemies she’s tried to destroy, doesn’t have a shred of forgiveness in her heart.

    I read a great line yesterday regarding her and the McCain camp trying to belittle Obama’s work as a community organizer: “Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor.” I do not believe that Obama’s the second coming (nor does Obama), but if she wants to talk about how Christian she is, we can spend hours talking about how Christian she ain’t.

    And apparently, neither is Bill.

  28. Bill needs to use his God given “Right” and LEAVE the USA. The country will be better if he leaves. I will CONTINUE to read TRUE and I wouldn’t be offended even if the article were about myself. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you have serious problems.

  29. Hmm, let’s see if I remember my Civics class from all those years ago. The Vice-President exists to take over the Presidency if something happens to prevent the President from fulfilling his duties. That’s the obvious part. But WHAT is it that they do in the meantime? The VP is President of the Senate, but even THEN has no power except to cast a vote in case of a tie! Beyond that, just what the hell is it that they do? Oh, sure, act important, attend functions (funerals?), and be… well, Vice-President (go back to beginning).

    So now we have an ongoing debate about who is the better (or more ‘qualified’) VP choice. Biden, a longtime Washington insider, but it doesn’t matter since, if elected, it’s Obama who will be President, or Palin, someone with Executive branch experience but little national or international experience, but it doesn’t matter since, if elected, it will be McCain who will be President.

    Sure, sure, the question is always about who will take over if the President drops dead, but it’s been the same rhetoric for decades. What can really be said for the likes of Hubert Humphrey, Spiro Agnew, Walter Mondale, or Dan Quayle? Who? “I’ll take ‘Famous Vice-Presidents’ for $100, Alex.” They might have been good at what they did before becoming VP, but none of them are household names today. Schools don’t even make you memorize the Vice-Presidents like they made you do with the Presidents.

    To reiterate, just what is it that the Vice-President DOES? (Not represent, but DO?) And that applies to both Biden AND Palin. Oh, and do I want the job? Sure, I can look important, do little, and get paid well along with the best of them.

  30. I’m surprised none of her advisers thought of this. Why not just have McCain’s people say:

    It doesn’t matter if she knows what a VP does. We know, and we know she’d be good at it.

    Perhaps I should trademark that, so they’d have to pay me to use it? 🙂

  31. Seems Bill has a problem with comprehension. I certainly wouldn’t use his firm for a marketing campaign. And this guy says he is the husband to many women? Doesn’t he know that is illegal?

  32. I thought and thought and thought about how/what to respond. But the insanity of the Palin selection continues to confound and astound me. Today’s newspaper notes that, among all the other triviata, she collected huge amounts of travel per-diem for housing and meals **while living at home in Wasilla**. Remember folks, if you elect her, she’s going to stick her fingers into your economic lives.

    Oh, and give Jon Stewart credit for the terrific line about her response to her lack of foreign affairs experience, that she is well qualified because Alaska is near Russia. By the same reasoning, Stewart said, she is also next to the north pole, so she must be friends with Santa.

  33. I was under the impression that the job of VP was basically:

    * Attend Funerals
    * Say “Yes, Mr President” in an enthusiastic manner
    * Have meetings with heads of state that are not currently in favour but the US don’t want to annoy too much due to being likely to want something from them later
    * Wait for the president to be assassinated, choke on something or otherwise be incapacitated (I wonder if this includes getting really, really drunk and passing out naked save for a necktie (worn around forehead, of course) in the middle of the lawn) so they can take over.

    It’s possible that you may have already covered that last one.

    Well, that’s an outsider’s view.

  34. Unfortunately, with McCain’s age and health history, if elected to VP, she may have to learn fast — scary thought.

    Of course, she’s already proved she can raise the debt on something she’s been in charge of… Wassila had no debt when she became mayor, but when she left to handle affairs in Juneau (or at her home) they were left with a 22 million dollar debt. A perfect choice as a running mate for a man who thinks 5 million dollars a year takes someone into the “rich” category.

  35. It is 0647, my time. My head is now hurting after entering Billville. Dear Lord, please make the stupid stop. And I’m an agnostic, so that tells you how much misery I am in after reading his response. Not to mention after Obama was talking about McCain’s proposed economic policy, which is just a continuance of Bush’s, and made the pig and lipstick statement. How anyone could “buttume” that was a slap at Palin, is beyond me. But then, again, this means you will have lots to write about and your True will continue for many decades to come.

    I’ve never had a fear that I would run out of stories about stupid people doing stupid things. Now I guess you understand why…. -rc

  36. Poor Bill must be very young. In the days of Camelot there was a record (yes, children, there were days that had no videos and music, etc came on vinyl platters) called “The First Family”. One of the cuts had the voice of the very young Caroline knocking on a door and saying something like ‘since Lyndon isn’t doing anything, can he come out and play?’ No one considered it a slap at the VP then. Now, the whole record (if done about the Bush first family) would be considered treasonous.

    Too bad Republicans have no sense of humor.

  37. My guess is that he was fine as long as you were pointing out the stupidity of others but as soon as you pointed out that she said this, it struck a nerve.

    I’ve been a reader for years and while not always being happy with some of the news you’ve found, have found you to be pretty middle of the road when it comes to politics.

    I’ve even noticed that you didn’t point out some of the “easy” targets from both parties.

  38. May I suggest to Ms. Sarah the she read the U S Constitution. In that august document, she will find explicitly what the duties of the Vice-President are. That person is to be President of the Senate and has a vote should there be a tie among the Senators. Perhaps a little study time in US Const. 101 would be in order if Ms. Sarah is serious about pursuing her recently submitted job application. Equal Opportunity Employer except the candidate must show that he/she is a native born American and is at least 35 years old. The other obligation by law is to succeed to the Presidency should the elected official die or be declared unable to perform the duties of the office.

    Many occupants of the office have found time for golf or hunting to be welcome diversions. Others have found going to state funerals to be a pleasant way to see the world. “You die, I fly” was the theme song of one famous ex-Navy flier who occupied the office. I am sure Air Force Two is large enough to carry the stray hunting rifle on those sad journeys.

  39. Joyce, Wasilla acquired debt because the people voted to build a wonderful sports arena. They were so confident in their financial standing (rightly so!), that they CHOSE to go into debt for the arena.

  40. First, I want to thank all the previous commentators and Randy for a very entertaining Saturday afternoon.

    Second, it is sad that too many supposedly intelligent, even well-educated people seem to be unable to separate fact from allegation and confuse faith and science.

    Third, yes, the originating media should have put Sarah’s wisecrack in context, and the unethical instigators should be called to account by their bosses. It was at best a cheap shot but all too typical (and I’ve been a journalist for 55 years). No wonder the “mainstream media” are losing credibility (and revenue).

    Fourth, it all seems to go back to the old saw, “Never argue politics or religion,” and you really get in trouble when you mix the two–reference to comments about abortion and Creationism–which had nothing whatsoever to do with what the Veep is supposed to do.

    Fifth, a perfect case of “Much Ado About Nothing.” The Bard said it all.

  41. Honestly, I was very confused as to what was going on in this blog and had to read it twice to make sense of it all. My issue was that I couldn’t connect his argument to your article but my second read allowed me to look at it differently.

    I have subscribed to your site for over a year now and I am pretty confident that I can read your personality and intonation through your penmanship/typemanship. However, in my second read of your article, I can see how the ambiguity in your commentary may have insulted Bill.

    Personally, I thought it was funny. For the past two weeks I have been asking others what the V.P. does and no one has had an answer. The next in line for presidency, key player in the swing vote, and no one has a clue as to what that person actually does and more importantly, they don’t care. If that isn’t funny I don’t know what is.

    Anywho, a second read allowed me the opportunity to glimpse at why Bill may have reacted so irrationally.Title first “Oh, What the Heck”. Sadly, I seldom read titles, I just get to meat of the story so I missed it the first time round. What the heck as in “Oh, what the heck, I’ll give it a try” or “Oh, what the heck is up with that idiot?” As a stand-alone title, “Oh, What the heck” is subjective and when followed by your closer that most Americans don’t know the answer, it can be taken as commiserating with her or as an insult to her, our American ignorance and anyone that may support her. Only intonation and facial expressions, or a long term exposure to an individual’s writing style, can clarify the meaning.

    While I think his tirade was completely unjustified and found his inability to articulate how your article specifically offended him to be disappointing, I feel that you should admit that you left yourself open to interpretation regardless of your intentions. In fact, I would be willing to bet a homemade apple pie that if you had chosen a different title, you could have saved yourself twenty minutes of research and retaliation — although I’m sure you had fun doing it.

  42. US WEEKLY did a story on Sarah Palin saying bad things I cannot recall right now and was accused of bias, as it had published another story about how in love the Obamas were. A former Attorney General in Brazil said that when people from every side complains about you, it means that you are doing a truly evenhanded job. Congratulations again, Randy 😉

  43. As a former Alaskan, I have been a “Palintologist” since I first heard about Sarah Palin running for governor of my home state. As a conservative, I have been very pleased that there are young leaders like Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal coming up through the system.

    My first thought when I saw Randy’s comment was, “Someone must have told her what the VP does and she decided that it was worthy of her.”

    And as the current vice president of one organization and having served as VP and president of other groups, I know that the duties of any vice president include much more than just waiting for the president to leave office early.

    I guess I have been a subscriber long enough that I am no longer a “thin skinned conservative,” although I like to think that I have always been able to see the humor at both ends of the spectrum.

  44. Don’t you know that in American politics you are allowed to call people names, insinuate that they have no love of God or country, that they are best friends with terrorists, and completely lie about their records of service and achievement? That’s just part of informing the voters.

    However, did you think that you could get away with actually quoting something that they, themselves said? Have you no decency?

    When will you ever learn?

    Now that’s funny! -rc

  45. This whole thing with Bill is hilarious. I am so glad I decided to follow this link. I love the fact that you tracked Bill down and exposed him for what he really is, Mr. Anal Retentive. How would you like to work with him? At least he has a job which a lot of people do not under our current administration.

  46. Many of these comments are great examples of how politics are run in America these days. Candidates don’t want people to think about the pros and cons of each candidate with an objective view, they want each person to behave like a mindless member of a political party, comparing views only with an overwhelming bias towards one or the other. However, I have to admit that Mr. Cassingham does a great job of maintaining an objective viewpoint, so kudos to you, Randy!

  47. Gilbert of SC,

    The problem I have with Sarah Palin, and in fact with all the candidates, is that they don’t think like you do. But of all the candidates, I believe that Sarah Palin is the one that thinks least like you do. I don’t really believe that the fundamental Christian Governor Palin listens nearly as much as she speaks. Nor do I believe that she would be willing to have her core beliefs challenged. I paid close attention to her interview with Charles Gibson, which was a real opportunity to let America get to know her, but she treated us only to talking points–lots of verbiage with no substance.

    It is not sufficient to dismiss that kind of performance as typically polit-speak, because there is nothing typical about her candidacy. That’s where Hillary Clinton failed, too. In fact, they demean all women by assuming traditionally masculine behaviors as politicians. We expect women to be different from men and we should. After all, the real beauty of feminism is what a woman brings to the table as a woman, not as a substitute for a man. It’s not enough that she has female sex characteristics if her behavior and thinking processes are essentially male. And what is especially reprehensible is having characterized herself as a pit bull with lipstick, and daring all comers in a typically underhanded attack on Obama, to then call “foul, I’m a woman” when the opponents treat her like an equal. This is not only inconsistent, it’s hypocritical–sounds like she’s taking lessons from the likes of Karl Rove.

    It is precisely these kinds of Rovian campaigns that foster the politics of hate mongering, which the American people have tired of and have expressed disdain for: the ugly tactics that we expected women entering the arena to put an end to.

    A pit bull with lipstick? You know, if Obama HAD called her a pig with lipstick it would have been preferable, because a pig will only attack when it senses its young is in danger. But who knows what will set off a pit bull, eh? Do you think that’s a pretty accurate characterization she chose for herself? Her comments about taking it to the Russians sounds like it might be….And if so, is that really what we want in a Vice President?

    I was an undecided voter until McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Truly, if he wanted to push me over to the other side, he did a very fine job. I consider the choice of Governor Palin to be a most egregious error in judgement, and it convinced me that he’s not someone I could put my faith in and support as President.

  48. When I first read your article I got the message you were trying to convey, that most Americans don’t know what the VP does. It’s too bad that this highly educated reader (Mr. Bill) can’t read the entire message instead of only the part he wants to distort. Personally I like Governor Palin’s style. Like you, I think she can handle a lot more than someone joking about her asking what a job entails before accepting it. After all, shouldn’t we all do that?

    Having lived overseas a lot longer than Mr. Bill apparently has (11 years of the 20 years I was in the Air Force) I believe I can disagree with him on another point of his rant. He claims that “the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens.” My observation is that most people I met liked American people but didn’t like our government’s policies. I can see why too since our nation’s international policies are so fickle changing at the drop of a poll.

  49. There are those who claim we use less than 10% of our brains. Those who are as easily offended as Bill are probably on the wrong end of the Bell curve.

    Which comes as no surprise when you consider the number of people who daily demonstrate an inability to think for themselves, or to comprehend the written word.

    Uh oh, Bill: when I mentioned the Bell Curve once, it brought even more whining than the “Sarah Palin story” did…. -rc

  50. I did my VERY best to see how one could possibly derive such statements from what Randy wrote. Also I could see NO sense what so ever in what Bill writes.

    Sad indeed but may he live in peace as my best guess is he must know a great deal about living “under the influence of anything sobering”.

  51. HA!!! I loved Mr. Bill’s rant. Loved it!!!

    It made me appreciate the fact that I live in a country where my vote can cancel-out his.

  52. Randy, thanks for the laugh. As a new mom of a “crybaby” I don’t have much to laugh about and this entire situation has me giggling hysterically! If I don’t calm down soon, I’m afraid nap time will end prematurely!! As for the rest of the comments, I’ll have to read them later just in case I can’t control my laughter. Maybe you should send Bill a GOOHF card!

    Bill created his own little hell — it’s not up to me to get him out of it! -rc

  53. Bill just wanted to start a little controversy over a non-topic surrounding a non-issue. These are the safest to attack, since they are easy to deal with whether you “win” or “lose.”

    I would like to get some follow-up information, though. Do you think Sarah ever got the job description she was asking for?

    One presumes it has been explained by now. But to be sure, “Bill” isn’t the only one. The latest is this from Holly in Illinois, emailed to me yesterday with the subject “Your evident bias”:

    I don’t appreciate your slanted political view. You should appreciate that Sarah Palin is an honest person – therefore, she readily admitted her ignorance rather than try to BS anyone. She also had the courage to fight HER OWN party. I could go on and on.

    My point is this: please keep your opinions to yourself in “THIS IS TRUE.”

    “Truth” consists only of facts, not opinions.

    The “fact” is, TRUE is entirely an opinion publication. You can’t have “news commentary” without opinion. And the truth is, nothing in the story shows any bias — not one of the complainers have called out a single phrase to say that it’s “not true” or “incorrect” or even an insult to Sarah Palin specifically or any Republican in general. I’d really like to know: what, exactly, do they find objectionable? Heck, even Holly is calling Palin “ignorant”, and I didn’t go anywhere near that far. -rc

  54. For some reason when I read this article all I could think is “Cheney”… what does he do all day?

    If Palin is smart, now that she is a vice president candidate, she could use this to her advantage (although it’s hard because the CURRENT VP is also Republican) by stating what a vice president *should* be doing.

  55. The criticism of Palin’s selection has nothing to do with the gang-up of an “old girl’s club,” or the radical left. It has to do with a joke McCain told time and time again over the past 18 months on the campaign trail.

    He often said that the job of vice-president is to “break tie votes in the Senate and to inquire daily as to the health of the president.” That line always got a good laugh.

    Nobody’s laughing now.

    It is in no way morbid to assume that a 72-year-old multiple cancer survivor in the toughest most demanding job in the world will not be a hale and hearty 76 when his re-election rolls around.

    The person he has chosen to step in should he falter was, two years ago, the mayor of a town of 6,000 that is actually a suburb of Anchorage, Alaska.

  56. Perfectly polite piece, I thought. A column of amusing snippets in a paper here in Sydney, Australia reported the “I don’t know what the VP does” quote with the sarcastic aside “bet you she never has to find out!”

  57. Sounds like Bill has a rough life. How he can make it through any given day without breaking down in tears of woeful rage is beyond me.

    If you’re not thinking critically about where your vote is going you’re doing your fellow Americans a disservice. So why not criticize Palin or any of the candidates for that matter? Because it’s not polite to take jabs at women, or blacks, or the elderly, or the mentally ill, or people from Hong Kong? Kinda sets a stupid precedent.

    Being an orthodox independent I’ve thoroughly considered both tickets. McCain (he’s elderly) picking up a rabidly Evangelical, rapture-ready, book burning nebular newbie for his VP (a mentally ill woman) really soured me. Though I can’t say I’m excited about Obama (he’s black) going with Biden either (elderly again). Maybe I’ll write in Jackie Chan (Chinese for a change). At least he knows kung fu.

  58. Note to Bill:

    Bill: have you ever read the stuff you write? Do you understand it? I ask because I read it all twice and it is meaningless gibberish. You are angry about things that do not exist, except in your own mind. The next time you write to a public forum, you might want to think twice before you make a public fool of yourself.

    You might also want to read Palin’s bio and figure out not why you like and admire her, but why you think she is qualified to be President (not just Vice President) of the United States.

  59. For years, I imagined that the vice president reported for work every morning and was locked in a closet with a glass door. Beside the door was a hammer on a chain, and a sign saying, “In case of emergency, break glass.” LBJ and Gerald Ford were the last two VPs who got the glass broken on their watch. George Bush came close, but Alexander Haig stepped in and took charge for him (thass a joke, son) until Reagan got better.

    I imagine that Governor Palin was just having some fun with the reporter when she said what millions of Americans have been thinking for years.

  60. What should be on the minds of everyone, is that the vice president is a heart beat away from being president. We’re not only voting for president, but also someone who could end up in that position.

    As for Bill. It scares me to think he’ll be in a voting booth.

  61. First of all… People need to realize that when they are picking a President, the Vice President is just as important! No matter how great of health someone is in, they could still die, then we are stuck with whoever the V.P. is. This guy, Bill, you need to stop defending Sarah Palin, she is a big girl and fully capable of defending herself (this situation didn’t call for defense, but she is still capable). We all saw at the RNC that she she can play the offence. Nothing about that piece was “bashing” her anyway! Shut up, and Grow up!

  62. I think anyone saying, in the current political climate, that they cannot understand Bill’s taking offence is being a bit disingenuous. It is one thing to claim that Bill has overreacted and another to claim that there is no basis for his reaction based on the article.

    There is.

    The article having fun with Palin’s comments was funny, especially when contrasted against her current decision and American’s views of the Vice President. It was a well done piece that by itself carried no IMPLICIT offence. It was a nice juxtaposition that played well. Classic political comedy in line with Late Night shows.

    But today’s political climate is very much a media bias viewpoint (whether actual or perceived and the removal of MSNBC anchors tends to lend credence to actual) and to highlight an apparent flip flop of a position (going from not knowing what the job entails to not caring if you take it) definitely can be seen by those perceiving a negative bias towards Palin since her announcement as the Vice President candidate as being a jibe at her.

    Clueless she was and clueless she is (not knowing why she is taking the job or even really understanding it but nothing much to do in Alaska these days so What the Heck).

    Is that offensive to the level that Bill has been offended. Certainly, in Bill’s Case. Is this a normal reaction. Certainly not.

    Is it understandable given the article published in the current environment.


    Enough of the “Bill has issues that I don’t understand but HE has the problem with not understanding things” type of rhetoric already.

    Understand another viewpoint even if you don’t agree with it. Don’t just bash it.

  63. I just wanted to say it was funny to read everything on this story. Thank you very much. I did send this article to a few people that lived in Alaska and works for state and they all heard it before and said. Well she is pretty! All in good fun. Hey I like Sarah Palin but my wife may make me vote for the Demos! Damit.

  64. I actually liked her answer. Any rational, thinking, person would appreciate her effort at mild humor to make a case for wanting to be vice president IF it was an active role. Only the hysterical lefties would presume that she genuinely is unaware of the duties of the VP, and only sourpusses on the right would get bent out of shape about the use of the video clip or quote. If that’s the worst dirt they have on her then I’m thinking she’ll be around for quite a while.

  65. Much ado about nothing. Maybe it’s about time.

    Your story was good, fair, and timely. Reminds me of Vice President John Nance Gardner’s quote: “The vice-presidency ain’t worth a pitcher of warm spit.” One of the beauties of the article is that at least folks are now talking about the warm pitcher of spit, even those in the cold climates like Alaska and Minnesota.

    Actually, Garner’s real quote was his position was “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” Newspapers of the time wouldn’t print it, and instead changed it to “spit.” -rc

  66. So Palin is no smarter then a third grader? By the time an American is 8, he or she should know that the VP is president of the Senate, and can break a tie vote.

    If you are Dick Cheney, then the VP’s job is to control the president, and make sure sure no one bothers the oil industry.

  67. I really enjoyed your communications with Bill and your editorializing about them. Believe me, I’ll never take a trip to Billville – and not because of his warning!

    One thing I would’ve liked for you to comment on is his line “I am a husband, father and brother of many women.” Many? Is he a bigamist, someone very old who slept around a lot, or is he one of a huge number of siblings? He still doesn’t speak for our gender as far as I’m concerned.

    Questioning what the V.P. does is one of the few intelligent things that Mrs. Palin has said.

  68. To Bill: HUH? I didn’t understand your objection was or actually most of what you said. It made my head hurt trying to figure out what you were saying, so I just gave up. If he is a partner in a marketing firm, they must have very good copywriters and editors to make sense out of his drivel.

    To Randy: Keep up the good work. I thought the article was amusing when I read it. Guess I’m just weird of something.

  69. It is Bill’s mentality that caused me to CHOOSE to stop registering as a Republican. It is Bob’s (from Holley, NY) mentality that made me CHOOSE not to register as a Democrat. That being said…

    Of course, any American over the age of 8 should know that the VP is the President of the Senate and votes in case of a tie. But, is that the VP’s only other purpose aside from “incessantly check(ing) on the health of the President”? Oh! Yes…The VP also goes to those “2nd string” diplomatic functions deemed too minor for the President to take time out of his busy schedule to attend, but are too important for the Secretary of State to attend…

    I think…

    The fact of the matter is that the VP is there to immediately take over the Executive Branch in the event that the President is unable to fulfill the duties he was elected to do. It’s the ultimate bench warmer position. Wait for the President to become incapacitated. Wait for the Senate to become deadlocked in a vote.

    One of my most embarrassing moments was when I was watching President Carter giving the State of the Union address in 1978 and ask my father who the guy sitting next to Tip O’Neil was. Dad’s reply “Hell son, that only the Vice President. I’ll be expecting a failing grade in your government class.”

    Thank you, Randy, for shooting from the hip. It’s made me an avid reader of True and when I’m working a steady job again, I’ll be upgrading to Premium.

  70. The VP has MUCH power. If you remember, VP Al Gore placed a tax on all Americans without a vote from anyone, except maybe Tipper. He declared a tax on telephones to pay for internet for every school & underprivileged community in the country.

    That was 12 years ago. The tax goes on and the job goes unfinished. What does the VP do? Anything he (maybe she) wants.

    It’s not accurate to say Gore added a tax without a vote. As I understand it, he added it to a bill which was then passed by the Congress. Big difference, even if you disagree with the concept. -rc

  71. I get bored with most blogs since they’re entirely one-sided. Seems everyone agrees and just complains about the same thing, or perhaps the moderator excludes any dissenting opinions. But, Randy, I do enjoy yours. I’m seeing pro and con opinions, even when they’re technically unrelated to the issue. (The issue was Palin’s remark, and Randy’s tagline, not her qualifications or lack, thereof.) Which remarks I agree with, or not, are unimportant, as there is a wealth of varying opinion to be considered, not just by me, but by all readers. To which I have to say, Thank You.

    I’m glad you (and others) have noticed, Mike. The purpose of TRUE isn’t to convince readers on the huge number of issues I cover (with a few notable exceptions, like ZT), but rather to get readers to think about the issues raised. As we’ve seen, angry polarization doesn’t work to convince anyone of anything. I frankly don’t care whether you love Palin or hate her, but I want you to think about her, her qualifications, and the implications of her running for office — just like I want you to think about McCain, Obama, and everyone else you need to vote for this November. Lack of thinking is the problem, not “who you’re for”. -rc

  72. Wow. Three years, huh? Well, that’s what I love about America. People DO have a right to be offended. And being America, everyone else has a right to (frankly, my dear) NOT give a damn. Poor Bill, doesn’t know what he’s missing. Not because he unsubscribed, but because he couldn’t grasp the concept in the first place.

    Oh, and let’s face it, for BOTH parties, Dan Quayle and Walter Mondale are living proof that nobody’s really sure what the job of the Vice President is.

  73. The vice-president has a lot of implied authority and essentially no official responsibility other than to preside over the Senate when he feels like it. Officially he doesn’t even work for the president although, politically, he does. The only real power he has is granted by the president and that power is not permanently endowed. For this he gets over 230K/year plus housing and a staff. Great job if you can get it.

  74. Ed in Shaftsbury, that may be technically true, but look back to the previous administration and the influence that Dick Cheney had on policies, including, according to him, the decision to invade Iraq. This is definitely not a job to be taken lightly. Personally I look at the VP candidate seriously. In my lifetime we’ve had 2 instances where the VP became the president — Johnson and Ford. We very nearly had Spiro Agnew as president, which I just have to shake my head at the possible consequences of that.

  75. The V.P.’s official residence is the U.S. Naval Observatory. I’ve been an avid amateur astronomer for decades, I’d take the job for half pay just to live there for a while.

  76. The VP is the President’s understudy. I’m astonished that few, if any, have pointed out that the first, most important and very far from trivial job of the VP is to keep up with what’s going on and what decisions must be made.

    Take, for example, Dick Cheney: one of the most evil persons ever to hold public office in America, but to his credit he did know what to do on 9/11: order air defenses, keep the President out of the way, close down air travel, send the bin Laden family home before the cops could ask inconvenient questions. He performed his VP job with skill because he spent a lot of time reading reports and getting briefings. A VP who cannot step into the President’s shoes at a moment’s notice should not be collecting a paycheck, and to do that is at least a half-time job staying current.

  77. I just wonder if McCain had picked an equally unqualified, half term MALE gov who said the same thing and was featured in TiT, if Bill would have had the same problem with it?


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