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The VP Debate: Odd Moments

In every debate, there are odd moments that tend to pass unnoticed because they do not concern the central issues of the day. Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate featured two such episodes. In one, Sen. Joseph Biden was illogical on the matter of gay rights. In the other, both Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin were incoherent on the matter of the constitutional role of the vice president.

“Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple,” Biden said in answer to a question about whether he supported equal benefits for same-sex couples. He went on to invoke the Constitution three more times. “The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution.... same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That's only fair.” And, “It's what the Constitution calls for. And so we do support it. We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.” Italics added.

Biden cannot actually mean what he says -- because the implications of his statement contradicts his (and Barack Obama’s) asserted position opposing marriage for same-sex couples. (They support civil unions, which Biden forgot to mention.) Alternatively, he may mean what he says -- but simply be unwilling to acknowledge that the consequence of that view is that the constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. Either way, it’s inconsistent to make the argument that there is a constitutional right to be free of discrimination as a gay or lesbian person and to oppose gay marriage.

The discussion of the constitutional status of the vice president was even more tangled.

Asked whether she shares Vice President Cheney’s belief that, as moderator Gwen Ifill put it, “the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it it is also a member of the Legislative Branch,” Palin reverted to Couric interview-levels of blather. Only the complete quote can capture the full extent of her floundering:

Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also.

Not that Biden did any better. Cheney, he said, “doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States. That's the executive. He works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.” Except, oops, Article I sets out the role of Congress and the vice president’s position as president of the Senate. Article II does all that executive branch stuff.

Biden went on to say that the “idea that he's a part of the legislative branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of the unitary executive.” Except that, too, makes no sense. Cheney was using his legislative role as a way to argue that he was exempt from disclosure requirements that apply to the executive branch -- not to aggrandize the power of the presidency. Indeed, as University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds (better known as Instapundit) has argued, “an activist Vice Presidency, in the Cheney model, might be considered unconstitutional if the Vice President is regarded as a legislative official,” because the president would be violating the separation of powers to delegate executive power to a legislative branch official.

Oh well. Everyone can go back to talking about Gen. McClellan now.

By Ruth Marcus  | October 3, 2008; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Next: The VP Debate: The Read-Only Version


See Out Takes from Biden and Palin practice Debates, You can also Give FeedBack on how you think Sarah Palin did in the Debate, See what the national poll says about what others think,

Posted by: pastor123 | October 3, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, you're being too fair to Palin by conflating these two responses. Biden was sloppy and made some mistakes (Article I, II, whatever) but you knew what he meant on the first question. On the second, I would argue that his answer actually does make sense. Cheney's VP-in-the-Legislative-Branch theory serves to seal off an opening where outsiders might try to gain control over the White House. It's a bit of a stretch, but if you're pushing a unitary executive idea where the President is essentially a benign dictator, it's a helpful argument for you to make. Sealing off the VP from outside oversight serves to enhance the President's unfettered power.

Palin, on the other hand, was simply incoherent. The block answer you cut and pasted is a nonsensical rambling of talking points and fluff. She's not saying anything.

Posted by: simpleton1 | October 3, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I think you (Marcus) confuse between "not supporting" and "Opposing".

Obama/Biden do not "Oppose" gay marriage. they just do not support it.

The idea that if you do not support something you "by definition" oppose it is the GBW simple-mindedness of "If you are not with us, you are against us" that have put more than 50% of this planet against us, merely because they chose not to join our follies.

Posted by: Reader24 | October 3, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus is the present day "psuedo-feminist" who is all for abortion but against mothers working outside the home.

Do all of us hard working mothers and real femenisits a favor - got back to baking cookies for the kids and stop writing nonsense like this silly little piece.

Thank you!

Posted by: mgd1 | October 3, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I suppose maybe you have to be gay (or not a partisan hack) to understand Biden's answer about gay couples. He and Obama support civil unions that are fully equal to opposite-sex marriage. He was talking about the full equality and didn't mention the phrase "civil unions".

More than one state supreme court has come to the exact same conclusion, that the respective state constitutions do require equal treatment, but not necessarily the same word "marriage". Some other state courts have come to other conclusions.

Any "pundit" who doesn't know and understand these points shouldn't be paid to comment on them...

Posted by: rmnelson | October 3, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

oh please,
Biden essentially used too many words to say we oppose gay marriage but we support civil unions. Whereas Palin sounded a lot like someone who after telling a racist joke looks around the room, sees no one is amused and blurts out "you know, I have black friends"

"Either way, it’s inconsistent to make the argument that there is a constitutional right to be free of discrimination as a gay or lesbian person and to oppose gay marriage."

Not necessarily there's the idea that the State should only sanction civil unions and put marriage back in the church where it belongs.

Posted by: foxn | October 3, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Dont be Fooled. The debate was fixed:

Posted by: parsonsscott | October 3, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice or catch Palin's several mispronunciations? This may not come as of high importance to the news media, but George W. Bush is criticzed for this and good communication skills means knowing the words effectively.

She said nuculear many times and also called Ahmadinejad, Akmandinejad. In addition to alluding to the wrong general.

Posted by: RacheGrne | October 3, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

besides being fair and honest in your analysis of the debate,you make great cookies.

Posted by: marsho87 | October 3, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of odd moments, I was stunned by Palin's swipe at "East Coast politicians."

By definition, that would include these Senators:

Richard Burr - Republican, North Carolina
Saxby Chambliss - Republican, Georgia
Susan Collins - Republican, Maine
Paul Coverdell - Republican, Georgia
Jim DeMint - Republican, South Carolina
Elizabeth Dole - Republican, North Carolina
Judd Gregg - Republican, New Hampshire
Joseph Lieberman - Democrat, Connecticut
Connie Mack - Republican, Florida
Mel Martinez - Republican, Florida
William Roth - Republican, Delaware
Jeff Sessions - Republican, Alabama
Richard Shelby - Republican, Alabama
Olympia Snowe - Republican, Maine
Arlen Specter - Republican, New Hampshire
John Sununu - Republican, New Hampshire
John Warner - Republican, Virginia

as well as these Governors:

Donald Carcieri - Republican, Rhode Island
Charlie Crist - Republican, Florida
Jim Douglas - Republican, Vermont
Sonny Perdue - Republican, Georgia
M. Jodi Rell - Connecticut
Bob Riley - Republican, Alabama
Mark Sanford - Republican, South Carolina

How would VP Palin begin to work with these very same politicians that she has disparaged before even getting to know them?

Her divisive rhetoric may play well in Alaska, but it's highly offensive anywhere east of the Mississippi.

Kiss Pennsylvania goodbye, Johnnie ...

Posted by: HughBriss | October 3, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

don't be intentionally thick, for crying out loud!

he indicated that marriage was a religio-social institution and that they did not intend to pursue legislation to alter its definition, but that health, medical, property and other rights were granted to partners regardless of sex under his interpretation of the constitution and that he and barack intended to guarantee those rights.

deliberate stupidity on your part? probably. what else would you have to talk about? loser.

Posted by: eh-hem | October 3, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

If you hated "W" wait until you get a taste of "O."

Listen, I'm really getting worried about this cult-like behavior from the Obama camp. Let me make my points:

(1) The "leader" is charismatic, has a few platforms which he keeps spouting without really explaining, and has really weird eyes.

(2) The "network" (campaign) is hell-bent in calling people "liars." This is very worrisome. When you call a person in real life, you better be prepared for a fight. It's not that politicians shouldn't say it once in a blue moon, but every time you turn around? Sadly, cults do this. There are three hallmarks of cult behavior:

(a) never admit you're wrong,
(b) take credit for things you never did,
(c) blame everyone else for the problems.

In inclusion, name-calling and shout-downs are cultish behavior.

(3) The "followers" are like pepped-up drones who seem to have no cares about any contradictions the "great leader" engages in. Like the Moonies, or the Nazis, cult followers are paranoid, vindictive, and spoiling for a fight.

Free speech is not allowed in cults. Dissenters are destroyed. Anyone who disagrees is the enemy.

Recently, I've seen a LOT of this behavior on blogs (cyber-bullying), in rally crowds (surly hooligans), and with surrogates (incessant talking points, cynical behavior, sarcasm, put-downs).

Never is there a positive thing to say about the other side.

The question is: how is this "change?" How is it "evolutionary" or "revolutionary?" In fact, it is simply the same old stuff, humans following like sheep to the tune they think they hear.

"New politics" equals engaging old stalwarts (think: Biden, Gates, Paulson), employing those who you criticize (think: Jim Johnson, Rick Davis), practicing behavior which you call loathsome (think: partisanship, hypocrisy - both sides).

The faces are different but the rules are the same: Attack those who Oppose, Defer Reasoned Behavior.

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Posted by: gengar843 | October 3, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

mgd1: You do know that it's possible (and I've seen proof) that you can be pro-choice in regards to abortion as well as making a choice about whether to be a working mom? Right? Choice is such a great thing. We should treasure it.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama is just another politician that will do or say whatever it takes to fulfill his political ambitions. Barack is calculated and methodical about hiding his true convictions and intentions, and uses deception to get elected.

The time is now!
For Americans to remember Barack Hussein Obama’s intimate 20 year relationship with the Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright, who blessed Barack and Michelle marriage and baptized both their daughters. AND, to remember the hideous videos of Jeremiah Wright’s congregation which included the Obamas, damning America with bombastic joy, after the Muslim’s criminal attack on America on 9/11.

The time is now!
For Americans to remember how Barack's Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright used his tax-exempt church to exercise a radical political agenda, and how he refers to Israel, as well as America, as a "racist" State. Barack's religious leader, Jeremiah Wright believes that the true 'Chosen People' are the blacks; and that black values are superior to middle-class American values.
 Indeed Barack's Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright is a black supremacist.

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama wants to be president to implement Jeremiah Wright’s dream of a black supremacist society in America.

The time is now!
For Americans of all political parties to come together to preserve the future of the country we love and have always been proud of, by voting for a True American Patriot and War Hero who risked his life for our country:
John McCain for President of the United States of America.

Country First!
Americans for John McCain/Sarah Palin

Posted by: Manolete | October 3, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

re: inconsistency on supporting gays

Marcus' logic is poor. The policy Biden endorsed was the same in content as Kerry's 04 platform--supporting civil protection for gays while leaving it up to private institutions to determine what constitutes marriage. Claiming that full constitutional rights entails legitimizing marriage is fallacious.

re: "makes no sense"

Biden was likely "interpreting" Cheney's act, showing what it meant in the larger political scheme. Even if it's a dubious interpretation, "making no sense," as a phrase, makes no sense when applied to his claim (sense/non-sense simply doesn't apply).

Good article, but I suggest a little more logical discipline.

Posted by: brehove | October 3, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The biggest lie that Sarah Palin told was "we are building a forty billion dollar gas pipeline which will create thousands of American jobs."

Wrong: She signed a contract with a Canadian company to study the pipeline's feasibility. Due to environmental considerations and difficulty of building and maintaing such a project, it is at least fifteen years away- and probably will never be built.

If I hear her say "hungry for oil" one more time, I am going to throw up. We should not be eating oil.

The "drill, baby, drill" mantra girl should return to Wasilla and get her kids back in school making sure they are properly educated and supervised. If she can't take care of her own family, how on earth can she take care of the nation?

What is Todd going to do in the evil east coast city of Washington D.C.? "The First Dude" looked very uncomfortable last night- that's for "darn sure."

Please...What was john McCain thinking?

Posted by: Luke2 | October 3, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

you are really stupid.

i believe that now.

how else could you not see that providing constitutional cover to avoid disclosing information the executive doesn't want disclosed is an aggrandizement of power?


Posted by: eh-hem | October 3, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The two examples you've used against Biden are arguable and totally open to interpretation. Palin's meandering answers were not. The simple fact of the matter is that Palin did not even attempt to answer any of the questions she was asked. Instead she stuck to her piece of paper and the talking points it contained. There's no glamor in not failing because you didn't even try.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | October 3, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

On the subject of the veep, Joe Biden is correct in spirit, even if he did botch the article numbers up: The vice president is mandated as a member of the Executive branch, plain and simple. His only legislative duty is to preside over the senate, but has no vote unless a vote is tied. Dick tried to claim he was outside the authority/culpability that the Constitution places on the Executive branch in order to hide from view his records and emails among other infractions.

By insinuating as you do that Biden's response to the veep question was as incoherent as Palin's because he mixed up the Articles of the Constitution (a verbal equivalent of a typo), even though he was right on the argument, gives Palin too much credit on the topic... as the Post apparently gives too much credit to you as a journalist.

Posted by: ewyeth | October 3, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

gengar843: There is a lot of anger right now and it's coming from both sides. Ranting and raving. I have found myself doing the same thing when I read something I find something that offends me to the core. It's rage and considering the fate of our Country, it's somewhat normal.

Yet, I disagree that the Obama camp has created this with the use of the word Liar. Actually, I heard most of it watching the RNC with a line of fear mongers and cynics. Your right about seeing the enemy, but you're looking in the wrong direction.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Why did you not discuss the equally-awkward moment when Palin said that a McCain-Palin administration would be "tolerant" of "diverse people" when referring to equal rights/benefits for same sex couples?

Also, I agree with the posters here who discuss how Biden's answers are not inconsistent -- they merely recognize the difference between a religious institution and a civil one.

Posted by: amyekeller | October 3, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Another awkward moment? Make that two... when Gov. Palin referred to Sen. Biden as "Senator O'Biden."

Posted by: amyekeller | October 3, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how good the author's listening and comprehension skills are, because what I heard from Biden was that he supports gay civil unions that engender the same rights as marriage, but opposes the use of the term "Gay Marriage" because he doesn't want to co-opt the word "marriage" from religion. As he said (paraphrasing), Biden believes that the word "marriage" should belong to religions, and for them to bestow the title and religious benefit as they see fit.

So yes, as a Catholic, he's personally opposed to "Gay Marriage," but as a lawmaker in a secular government, he also believes that gays have the same civil rights as heterosexuals. He didn't contradict himself, as you claim; he made perfect sense, even if it took him a while to get there!

You need to try paying attention instead of trying to find "gotcha" moments. You'd be a better writer.

Posted by: ewyeth | October 3, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how good the author's listening and comprehension skills are, because what I heard from Biden was that he supports gay civil unions that engender the same rights as marriage, but opposes the use of the term "Gay Marriage" because he doesn't want to co-opt the word "marriage" from religion. As he said (paraphrasing), Biden believes that the word "marriage" should belong to religions, and for them to bestow the title and religious benefit as they see fit.

So yes, as a Catholic, he's personally opposed to "Gay Marriage," but as a lawmaker in a secular government, he also believes that gays have the same civil rights as heterosexuals. He didn't contradict himself, as you claim; he made perfect sense, even if it took him a while to get there!

You need to try paying attention instead of trying to find "gotcha" moments. You'd be a better writer.

Posted by: ewyeth | October 3, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I found it disappointing that both candidates claim to be tolerant of gays and lesbians and yet neither of them is willing to embrace the concept of gay marriage. Our country is far too polarized on this issue and it is really unhealthy for everyone to still have doubts in their minds about this. If you have a problem with gay marriage then you clearly don't believe gays and lesbians are equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of society or the law. Shame on the VP candidates for claiming to be tolerant while not taking the obvious step and advocating equality. America needs to evolve and take the view that other nations are taking around the world - to respect people in their choice of partners. Holland, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Norway and South Africa have already done this. Let's go people.

Posted by: adrianaccurso | October 3, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Mrs Marcus Or Whatever Your Name Is,Here's A Thought Stop Smoking Crack,It's Enough That We May Have A President That's A Drug Addict Crack Smoker,But Then Again You Could Be His Pusher The Way You Degrade Anybody Who Doesn't See Things Through Your Misguided Views,Get A Life Lady And Stop Playa Hatin,Don't Be Mad At The Playa,Be Mad At The Game,(Because It's One That George W.Bush The 3rd,Cheney's Nephew Will Not Win In The End)


Posted by: Cedriclydellduncan196047gmailcom | October 3, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Why does the term "equal protection" not yet appear on this page? That is clearly the key to Biden's argument on the civil unions point. He interprets the constitution, (e.g. the 14th amendment) to guarantee citizens equal protection under the laws. Thus, he argues, the civil benefits that citizens can obtain by marrying should be available to people whether they are gay or straight. He distinguishes between civil unions and marriage itself, which he suggests has both a civil/legal side and a religious/cultural side, the latter of which is not the business of the federal government. You don't have to agree with this, but it's at least a coherent argument.

As for the role of the VP, yes, Biden overstated his case. The VP is mentioned in both article I and article II. Still, by longstanding precedent, the VP is a member of the executive branch.

Also, Palin's idea of the VP taking more authority in the Senate is kind of weird, and possibly a bit scary.

"I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are."

This trails of into nonsense toward the end. But before that, what is she talking about? Is she suggesting that the VP should have agenda-setting power in the Senate? Probably not, but if so, this definitely violated separation of powers, goes against centuries of Senate rules and precedents.

The role of the VP is to make sure that the Senate supports the President's policies? If we were to take that statement seriously at all (we probably shouldn't, but if we do...), I think we would have to conclude that she's advocating an extremely radical vision of a unitary executive who controls all branches of government.

Not good.

Posted by: Hermitage171 | October 3, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, your article perpetuates the idea that we should hold the candidates to different standards. Ripping into Biden here and, aside from you Palin quote which nonsensical to say the least is bias. I think you must be tag-teaming with Jackson Diehl because you both seem to demonstrate the same substandard level of real journalism.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

What Biden refers to is to Constitutional Rights of Individuals remaining intact, regardless of any lower-level arrangements. Marriage is at the State level for Obama and Biden, and all of us.
-Your interpretation is particular, would say.

Posted by: ElMugroso | October 3, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought Biden's answer on gay rights made perfect sense. He was talking about legal rights, not religious rites. Supporting civil unions but not "marriage" makes the same distinction. I take their position to be that gays should be afforded all the same legal rights and protections that heterosexual couples are provided under the law, while allowing religious institutions to refuse to perform them - which is consistent with the Constitution (in my opinion).

Posted by: Chip_M | October 3, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a True american. I am proud to suport Palin /mccain in Nov. Biden wants to let gays marry and thats not what's in the bible. listen to god and jesus and not make up your own rules. jesus said it was wrong and now crazy muslim obama and Joe biden want to let them get married. Go Palin and Mccain. You are the True Americain heros. Stupid librals are godless.


Posted by: brandi4palin | October 3, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Palin, on the other hand, was simply incoherent. The block answer you cut and pasted is a nonsensical rambling of talking points and fluff. She's not saying anything.

She would have maybe served herself better by whipping out her flute and given us the song she played in the talent session of her Miss Eskimo Pie beauty contest.

But on the other hand I enjoy listening to her Palindromes, where she makes as much sense speaking them backwards as she does forwards. "wink"

We are all getting a kick out of Sarah in our own amusing way. Some less noble perhaps than others. McCain is tiring to listen to unless you want to start counting all the little lies he slides into his conversations these days.

They will both be gone soon. Sarah back to guarding our rooftop and peering out across the Bering Straits for Vlad the Destroyer. McCain back to being Cindy's favorite maverick.

And all we will have left is YouTube for the wonderful memories.

You betcha'!!

Posted by: patrick10 | October 3, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone hear the governor call the him "O'Biden"?

Biden was refering to the part of Article I where it describes the duties of the VP as the tie breaker.

Posted by: mooseburger | October 3, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

brandi4palin: I respect that you have faith and that is why we have freedom of religion in this Country (at least for now). However, we also have separation of church and state. That is part of our Constitution. Some might argue that our money and other parts of what makes us American's has reference to God. Yet, I believe our founding fathers put separation of church and state to protect us form ourselves. They served us well.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin's deception habit disclosed itself when she first said "I put it on e-Bay", misleading people to understand that she 'sold' it on e-Bay.
-Now, if she LIES when there's even no need, what can be expected when lying helps her out?

Posted by: ElMugroso | October 3, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Well I dont know about that, but it is interesting how they are always saying that he need a Life Alert . Maybe its not a bad idea.

Posted by: HarryHarry1 | October 3, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

we have too much analysis ruth, we need more cookies.

Posted by: tommyd60 | October 3, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

AFTER THE BLATANT AND STUNNING SEXISM LAUNCHED AGAINST THE HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN by Barack Hussein Obama and the liberal media, democratic Hillary supporters were thrilled to hear John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, because, she offers Americans a chance to vote for someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don't agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.

HAVING A WOMAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE, AND NOT AS THE SPOUSE, IS A CHANGE WHOSE TIME HAS COME, despite the fact that the media and Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Sarah Palin’s nomination, Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now looking across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S BULLYING OF THE CLINTON CANDIDACY DURING THE PRIMARY SEASON WAS THE FIRST REVELATION OF HOW MISOGYNISTIC AND SEXIST THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BECOME. The democratic party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That's why Sarah Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern democratic liberal claim on issues of male cultural and social superiority.

The time is now for John McCain/Sarah Palin.


Posted by: Manolete | October 3, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

When Biden & Obama say they oppose same-sex marriage, they obviously mean: in an Obama administration, we'll have that imposed by the Supreme Court. Otherwise(as you note) what Biden said makes no sense at all.
Hey, it worked on the abortion issue!-- after a fashion anyway.

Posted by: pjk1 | October 3, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

glad I heard this debate. it helped me decide to vote for commonsense responsibility, intelligence and strength: OBAMA-BIDEN.

after 8 yrs. of a party of deregulation, lies and corruption, I cannot vote for Republicans this time around. No more years.

Posted by: ddarker1 | October 3, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Manolete.. I would also love to see a woman in the Whitehouse, but I am not stupid enough to side with and vote for Sarah JUST because she is one. I don't like her policies, I disagree with her about just about everything, and feel her conduct in office all the way back to Wasilla has been wrong on mutiple counts. Sure seeing a woman in office would be wonderful, but I truely, 100%, with all my heart believe that if that woman is Sarah Palin it will set woman back, not move them forward.

If we want a female leader who will make us proud we can't just vote for the first one... we need to make sure she can do the job, and in a way that we agree with. A lying, power abuseing, intolerant she-snake will do women no favors at all from the Whitehouse. Since I am from Alaska I can claim to have known about her conduct a good long while... and it has been shamefull. Please look into it yourself... find the truth about her book baning dreams, and Troopergate avoidance. It's easy to look up.

To vote for ANYONE just because of sex, color, or party is mindless and frankly dangerous if too many people use those standards... To vote for Palin just because you want a woman in power makes who ever does that just as bad as the people who are voting againt her because she's female, and only a notch better then those that are voting for because she's hot. When will the things that REALY matter be what people think about?

Obama and Biden, time for a real change.

Posted by: GirlfromAlaska | October 3, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

From the words and wisdom of brandi4palin

"listen to god and jesus and not make up your own rules. jesus said it was wrong and now crazy muslim obama and Joe biden want to let them get married"

How nice to see a God-fearing American parise Jesus and lie and act show religious intolerance in the same sentence. So Jesus who said love one another as you love yourself would love being associated with a lie-- Obama is a Christian, attends a Church, not a mosque-- and bigotry-- Islam is a major religion practiced by a little over a billion people around the world. Perhaps you should go back to reading the Bible and learning some more out of it Brandi.

Going to Ms. Marcus' piece, I also cringed when Joe Biden mixed up Articles I and II of the Constitution, especially coming someone who has had such a long history in the US Senate. However, Governor Palin's answer just left me shocked. She was incoherent, but the beginning of her statement that she wanted more power for the Vice Presidency was outright scary.

I think Joe Biden should have dropped the civility just a little and provided a brief history lesson on the Vice Presidency, especially since the HBO Miniseries "John Adams" had been out and thus not sound like he was talking down to Ms. Palin.

Had I been in Biden's position, I would said something like this:

"I remember watching the HBO Miniseries John Adams. Great story one of our Founding Fathers. I especially loved the scene when the newly-elected Vice President Adams was actually told to butt out from the debate of a measure being considered by the Senate. You see, John Adams thought he was supposed to participate in the Senate floor discussions, but its members reminded him that the Vice President's actual roles are very limited: preside the Senate and break a tie vote. Nothing more. Nothing less. If a President wants to give his VP portfolios within the Administration to deal with, excellent! If the President asks his VP to serve as a sounding board great! But I think that something that has worked fine for two centuries does not need tinkering, especially at a time when Dick Cheney has morphed the Vice Presidency into almost a co-Presidency."

Posted by: Kruhn1 | October 3, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"Biden cannot actually mean what he says -- because the implications of his statement contradicts his (and Barack Obama’s) asserted position opposing marriage for same-sex couples."

Ummm, are you sure about that? Seems you must've missed this exchange in the debate:

IFILL: Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

So I think the reasonable interpretation of corpus of Biden's responses would be as follows: Biden supports an institution akin to marriage that would confer to consenting same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, responsibilities, and protections as "marriaage", but he refuses to label it "marriage".

[However, yes you do have to grant him one verbal misstep; he said that "We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits ..." He unfortunately used the term "same-sex marriage", when he clearly believes the word "marriage" should be reserved for other purposes. A bit confusing, maybe -- but it seems clear that he just misspoke.]

Now I'd certainly be with you if you were calling to question the logic of Biden's position. I think it's a pointless symantic exercise to be in favor of an institution that exactly mimics the properties of marriage (save the gender differential between the spouses) yet refuse to call it marriage. I mean if we really need to go down that road then fine, sure, screw it, whatever: we can go ahead and designate a related word to carry the meaning ("wedlock", "matrimony", "espousal", anything - pull out your thesaurus Biden and have at it) just so we don't have to call it marriage.
[But I would take a hard line on a related issue -- IF we do pick a new word for this then it should apply to the unions entered into by ALL couples, gay or straight. So my wife and I (I'm male) would have been "wedded" (or whatever) in our civil ceremony NOT "married" because marriage is a religious concept and our ceremony was intentionally non-religious. Other folks may choose to get "married" (in the customs of their chosen religion) at the same time as getting "wedded" (in the eyes of the state), but the two are actually separate. If we're gonna treat gay folks that way, we should do the same for straight people.]

Posted by: Joke2 | October 3, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

here's a comment: fire this columnist

Posted by: eh-hem | October 3, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, you're a twerp. Normal women like me just don't get why you would defend Palin; in ways sometimes subtle, sometimes brazen. She's an idiot, plain and simple. OK, maybe pretty and simple. But she's STILL an idiot. Biden may not be perfect, with his 450 horsepower mouth, and all. But in comparison, he's Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein rolled into one, next to the Alcmene from Alaska. (or, at least, she who thinks she is.)

Posted by: LucyLou1 | October 3, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Biden's a moron. Little wonder that he had to resort to cheating as a law student at Syracuse.

But it's hard to blame Joe for confusion about Obama's policy on same-sex marriage. Obama avoids talking about it as much as possible. Try finding it on his official website--well buried.

Posted by: WylieD | October 3, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Cheney *did* use his dodge about being part of the legislature to increase the power of the executive--he claimed to be immune from disclosure and record-keeping requirements. It's like having your cake (power) and eating it too.

The one good thing about this columnist is that she actually quotes Palin. A few more quotes would illustrate exactly how incoherent she was, rattling around from talking point to talking point. A pathetic and embarrassing performance. Where are the media? Why are they going along with the inevitable Republican talking point that she did fine?

Posted by: scientist1 | October 3, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Due to separation of Church and State, the Constitution cannot guarantee same-sex couples equal rights to marriage within a church; that's the church's call. Civil unions with full rights of visitation, inheritance, joint property etc is arguably covered under the 14th amendment, equal protection under the law for all citizens. So Biden was right on that score.

Posted by: Lila1 | October 3, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus missed the best Bidenism - that the US and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon- which never happened. Maybe Joe's botox traveled to his brain, causing him to babble about imaginary wars.

Posted by: conman2 | October 3, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: gengar843 | October 3, 2008 6:14 PM "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Your comments are pathetic. I would rephrase your closing comment which I've repeated above as follows -- "I have seen the enemy and he is me."

Have a good look in the mirror, eh?

Posted by: paulstewart | October 3, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I think your attempt to put Gov. Palin on the same level as Sen. Biden is ridiculous. They are not in the same league -- Gov. Palin looked foolish most of the time. Avoiding the question, changing the subject, railing about whatever she wanted to rail about that's not a debate -- that's a speech.

I had no trouble following Sen. Biden throughout his presentation and it was very clear what he meant in both of these subjects that you discuss.

On the other hand, I couldn't follow Gov. Palin on either one. Nor could I follow her on much of anything else that mattered.

For me, not only is she not qualified to be Vice President of the United States, but I question her capacity as a politician leading Alaska.

Joe Biden looked absolutely vice presidential and indeed I could see him as a president. In the 90 minutes that he spoke he was nearly flawless -- not only in hhis views and thinking but also in his presentation. He was much faster, much more comprehensive than I had imagined he might be. He also made no mistakes with respect to his demeanor and behavior towards Gov. Palin.

While the news has been almost entirely about Gov. Palin and her performance, to me Sen. Biden's performance was absolutely outstanding. Yet there has been little mention of it.

So, for me to see you trying to conflate the two people and say that somehow they were doing the same thing is simply catering to politics and ignoring reality.

Mark my words, America can no longer afford to ignore reality. Everyone needs to get their head out of the Rabbit Hole.

Posted by: paulstewart | October 3, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Speak of an odd moment. Or Freudian slip. Palin, at one point, said McCain has to LEAVE, before she corrected herself and said LEAD.

Posted by: ax49 | October 3, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

paulstewart: You indulge in the same activity which I have identified. The use of the word "pathetic" rather than the word, say, "stultifying" is egregious indeed. You judge without being judged. You judge without backup.

Your use of the word "eh?" is indicative also of the militaristic tone in most of your peers' writings. "Eh?" signifies that you are the master, but this is not true since you are a follower in the cult.

You follow your statement to me with a retort of type to assorted comments which are obviously, to you, "lies" and such. You exhort your demi-god wonderfully, and ignore any basis of reality for the other side, refusing to acknowledge the least victory.

Mainly, you are a puppet. You dance wildly on the strings that move you, oblivious to any other side of the coin.

My estimation of the debate: Biden looked fine, Palin did great. Both made errors - "Bosniac" for Joe, "McLellan" for Sarah. Both were gracious, well-groomed, patient enough with each other, took the jabs well, and had coaching and notes for themselves. A fair analysis without microscopic partitioning.

Posted by: gengar843 | October 3, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

"... Bosniac" for Joe ..."

FYI, It's a small thing, but Biden's use of "Bosniak" was not a gaffe. It's the accepted term for the ethnic group he was referring to. You could look it up. Or not.

Posted by: synykyl | October 3, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

This article is all fuzzy logic and nonsense!

Posted by: loigl | October 4, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Poor article... I expect better.

Posted by: vtcxc | October 4, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I truly believed that Palin had an ear piece during the debate as Bush did during his. If you rewatch the tapes you'll see she stares straight, doesn't move, stops to think about the next word like she didn't hear it right, etc.... and her performance was too far off all of those from previous weeks. We all know she memorized speeches and spewed them out even when they had no relevance to the questions ..why was she allowed to do that? Point is, how can we be certain that she will is not wired or have any devices of use to her up there on the podium next time?

This is what I believe she likely had, just as Bush had:

How can we be sure candidates are being screened properly?

Posted by: melauriec | October 4, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

My literal interpretation based on US Constitution Article I Section 3 Clause 5 (see below) and Article II is that Vice President is member of legislature and only time he becomes part of Executive Branch is when he/she exercise the office of the President or takes absence from legislative branch.

Article II does not say anything about the duties of VP except the rules and process when can he/she assumes the position of President.

Article I

Section 3

Clause 4:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Clause 5:

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

Posted by: pkailesh | October 4, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden was often incoherent during this
debate when he was not uttering out right
falsehoods. Sorry Joe we all heard you say
you opposed clean coal & we heard Obama
agreeing to meet Ahmadinejad without preconditions. Now I know that you count on
your pals in the MSM to cover for you but they no longer control the flow of information.


Posted by: jbianco28 | October 4, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Ruth is mistaken.

Cheney's exempting the VP from disclosure requirements that apply to the executive branch DOES aggrandize the power of the presidency and controlling and withholding information and being able to conduct a shadow government without accountability.

As well, Ruth is wrong about Biden's point: he is saying that the Constitution protects gay peoples' personal contracts as much as any other citizen's. The Constitution does not define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Posted by: Bodoc | October 4, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This analysis splits hairs in an almost autistic way, Ruth. Far more distressing, from my perspective, was Palin's "some of my friends are gay, but..." display of classically bigoted argumentation.

Posted by: catuskoti | October 4, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

To have effective fact-checking requires journalists who themselves know what they are talking about. There are some of them, and then there is Ruth Marcus.

Exempting a major power center in the White House from disclosure requirements that apply to the rest of the Executive Branch is entirely consistent with the aggrandizement of Presidential powers that has occurred in the last eight years, and has probably been necessary to sustain it. Sen. Biden appears to understand this a good deal more clearly than Ms. Marcus does. What Ms. Marcus does understand about this subject is less than clear to me and, perhaps, to many other people as well.

Posted by: jbritt3 | October 4, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Biden's statement is consistent with the idea that marriage is a religious rite, not a legal one. The government does not define marriage, it defines legal rights. If the government gives the same legal rights to both heterosexual and straight couples, marriage is only a religious designation of no legal significance.

Posted by: heiken | October 4, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

You're article is very critical of Senator Joe Biden who did very well in this debate. Senator Biden showed not only his great intelligence and knowledge, but also his 36 years experience as a U.S. Senator. He also fully explained his views on the issues and the plans that he and Obama would implement after winning the election.

You had less criticism of Governor Sarah Palin which is disturbing but really there wasn't much to criticize about her given the fact that Governor Palin didn't answer most of the questions and instead kept talking about Alaska's energy and sneaking in cutesy little words, folksy lingo and eye winks to thrill those empty headed right wingers watching from home.

Since Governor Palin ignored most of the questions asked of her, she never took any time to fully explain her and John McCain's views on the issues and their plans for Iraq, the economy, health insurance, social security etc. if they were elected.

Senator Biden won this debate hands down due to his intelligence and knowledge and also the fact that Governor Palin never really answered any of the questions.

Posted by: scout_march16 | October 4, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Country First?

Posted by: sobugged | October 5, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Some of these semi-literate babblings from McCain/Palin supporters are downright scary. Sad to say, I had a Siamese cat who likely had a higher IQ
than some of these people.

Posted by: williamtrent61 | October 5, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

pass this on.

Posted by: sobugged | October 5, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I’m quite surprised to find a lot of people actually did not actually listen to the content the debate, I’m wondering if most republicans just stared blankly into the viewer box and just thought she looked purdy or something… It was quite embarrassing to see Palin stumble over herself and her words you could even sense the audience at several points were astonished at her replies and evasions of the question during the debate.

I feel that this Article is bias and Pro-Republican and feel that Palin has been handled with too much care. If Palin was a man then Biden would have been more aggressive during the debate. You could notice that near the end he was really working hard to keep his emotions in line because of the lack of knowledge and stupidity of Palin. Can you truly see her running the country at some point?

Wake up people….!!!!

Vote Obama/Biden 2008

Posted by: dragonlaion | October 5, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

McCain says he's going to get tougher on Obama? Swing a little harder? In the first debate McCain fumed, his lips tightened until blood flow stopped, he squinted while he cocked his head and his facial expression went blank and mouth drooped open (obviously pressure inside his head was building to a volcanic level), and smoke shot out of his ears. Is fire going to shoot out of his eyeballs Tuesday? Will he announce he's going back to his cell in Hanoi until election day to get out of the way of the top of his ticket (SARAH!) in her quest for power and the Presidency?

Posted by: tigman_2 | October 5, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

The above web site contains very entertaining computer-software-generated endless fictional Palin quotes, which are in the "Palinese" language.

It occurred to me that windbag Palin's longwinded "answer" --if one can call it an "answer"-- (it is reproduced below) to Ifill's question concerning a vice president's role in government will fit very nicely exactly as it is in the software-generated fictional Palin quotes.

"Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation. And it is my executive experience that is partly to be attributed to my pick as V.P. with McCain, not only as a governor, but earlier on as a mayor, as an oil and gas regulator, as a business owner. It is those years of experience on an executive level that will be put to good use in the White House also."

Posted by: AMemberofHumanSociety | October 6, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus, get your facts correct before you start writing. 20 seconds research on the Internet would reveal

Article 1, Section 3, fourth paragraph, US Constitution:
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

Joe Biden knew exactly what he was talking about, you didn't.

Posted by: dpc2003 | October 6, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcue;

This column is committing the mortal sin of the so call intelligent media, reporoting balance where there isn't balance. You are writing as if Biden's "mistakes" were equivalent to Palin's mistakes, in essence "balance". E.g.comparing Palin's view of the VP slot, which is similar to Cheney's, and Biden's mistake of not including Article II into his answer is nitpicking. Palin/Cheney's view is unconstitutional and dangerous. Biden's view was correct if not scholarly regarding details of the Constitution.

Posted by: frederickboyd | October 6, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Gay people have been around as long as straight people have been around, so I don't think anything Biden or Palin can say is going matter one bit. Gay people will love, live and die together and that will never change regardless of the law. Someday the laws may be changed to give them some of the breaks they deserve, but it will be over a period of time not in one day or one adminstration.

Posted by: Slingo | October 6, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The media is running so scared by allegations from the far right that they are trying to portray the VP debate as a toss up. Wow. Toss up if you hold Palin to high school debate team standards and Biden to presidential debate standards.

I'm a bit surprised more attention isn't being paid to what I call Palin-speak or Palinese. She has quite a talent in this regard. She says absolutely nothing, yet speaks a lot of words, uttered in any old non-sensical and ungrammatical order, and throws in a few words/phrases that all Americans have to agree with. To our ears, we are confused. It appears she has said something sensical that we agree with, even if basic/simplistic, but part of our brain is going "wtf did she just say?" Then we second guess ourselves and say ok it probably made sense. Or we unconsciously translate her mumbo jumbo into English instantaneously, so we think it somehow made sense. But, when you look at the transcripts of every interview she has given or of her free-flow unscripted talk in the debate, you realize OMG this is utter nonsense with no meaning or substance. It's quite a talent and a rarity. Maybe it is the marque of someone trying to sound smart but entirely unequipped for the task. She uses words improperly, her sentence structure is totally tortured, her verbs don't match up correctly with their subjects, it is just horrific English. She is truly special in this way. I've never seen anything like it.

I do think that Biden was a bit muddy on gay marriage and rights. If he believes that these marriage-related rights are constitutional rights, then how can he say gays are not entitled to marriage? He seems to support separate but equal treatment of gays. I thought we learned a hard lesson there with blacks. What if we said well all blacks can live in neighborhoods but we're going to let white people call their neighborhoods "neighborhoods". Black people have to call it the ghetto. Gays will never be truly equal if we give them second-class status with marriage and say what we have is valuable and worthy of respect and reverence and you have to have something different because you are not up to ours.

But Palin, good lord, someone needs to slap her for using over and over again the words "tolerate" and "tolerance" when it comes to gays. Would this be ok to say with regard to other groups? We need to tolerate blacks in this country. We need to tolerate jews in this country. This was horrible.

Interesting that she said she had a "diverse" family and group of friends in terms of political viewpoints. I think that's the only type of diversity that Alaskan knows!

Posted by: bmorebent | October 6, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

There's a world of difference between missing a detail (Article I vs. Article II) and being a completely incoherent and babbling idiot. Shame on Ms. Marcus for trying to minimize the doofus factor.

106 days till the end of the Bush administration.

Posted by: CardFan | October 6, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Illegal Immigration and the Mortgage Mess
by Michelle Malkin,

The Mother of All Bailouts has many fathers. As panicked politicians prepare to fork over $1 trillion in taxpayer funding to rescue the financial industry, they've fingered regulation, deregulation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, both Bushes, greedy banks, greedy borrowers, greedy short-sellers and minority home ownership mau-mauers (can't call 'em greedy, that would be racist) for blame.

But there's one giant paternal elephant in the room that has slipped notice: how illegal immigration, crime-enabling banks and open-borders Bush policies fueled the mortgage crisis.

It's no coincidence that most of the areas hardest hit by the foreclosure wave -- Loudoun County, Va., California's Inland Empire, Stockton and San Joaquin Valley, and Las Vegas and Phoenix, for starters -- also happen to be some of the nation's largest illegal alien sanctuaries. Half of the mortgages to Hispanics are subprime (the accursed species of loan to borrowers with the shadiest credit histories). A quarter of all those subprime loans are in default and foreclosure.

Regional reports across the country have decried the subprime meltdown's impact on illegal immigrant "victims." A July report showed that in seven of the 10 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, Hispanics represented at least one-third of the population; in two of those areas -- Merced and Salinas-Monterey, Calif. -- Hispanics comprised half the population. The amnesty-promoting National Council of La Raza and its Development Fund have received millions in federal funds to "counsel" their constituents on obtaining mortgages with little to no money down; the group almost succeeded in attaching a $10-million earmark for itself in one of the housing bills past this spring.

For the last five years, I've reported on the rapidly expanding illegal alien home loan racket. The top banks clamoring for their handouts as their profits plummet, led by Wachovia and Bank of America, launched aggressive campaigns to woo illegal alien homebuyers. The quasi-governmental Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority jumped in to guarantee home loans to illegal immigrants. The Washington Post noted, almost as an afterthought in a 2005 report: "Hispanics, the nation's fastest-growing major ethnic or racial group, have been courted aggressively by real estate agents, mortgage brokers and programs for first-time buyers that offer help with closing costs. Ads proclaim: "Sin verificacion de ingresos! Sin verificacion de documento!" -- which loosely translates as, 'Income tax forms are not required, nor are immigration papers.'"

In addition, fraudsters have engaged in massive house-flipping rings using illegal aliens as straw buyers. Among many examples cited by the FBI: a conspiracy in Las Vegas involving a former Nevada First Residential Mortgage Company branch manager who directed loan officers and processors in the origination of 233 fraudulent Federal Housing Authority loans valued at over $25 million. The defrauders manufactured and submitted false employment and income documentation for borrowers; most were illegal immigrants from Mexico. To date, the FBI reported, "Fifty-eight loans with a total value of $6.2 million have gone into default, with a loss to the Housing and Urban Development Department of over $1.9 million."

It's the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to lax Bush administration-approved policies allowing illegal aliens to use "matricula consular cards" and taxpayer identification numbers to open bank accounts, more forms of mortgage fraud have burgeoned. Moneylenders still have no access to a verification system to check Social Security numbers before approving loans.

In an interview about rampant illegal alien home loan fraud, a spokeswoman for the U.S. General Accounting Office told me five years ago: "[C]onsidering the size of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston and other large cities throughout the United States known to be inundated with illegal aliens, I don't think the federal government is willing to expose this problem for financial reasons as well as for fear of political repercussions."

The chickens are coming home to roost. And law-abiding, responsible taxpayers are going to pay for it.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 6, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Also, when the Governor was talking about her gay friends, she talked about the choices they made to have the lifestyle they have, as if gay people choose to be gay. As a good friend of mine, who spent his whole life struggling with his homosexuality, once said, "It's not a choice. I wouldn't choose to live this way."

Posted by: baltimoremom | October 6, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez, Ruth, come on.

There's no way any rational thinking human being could have watched that debate and believe that Silly ol' Sarah is remotely qualified to be Vice President of the United States (and thus, PRESIDENT of the U.S.).

She couldn't address health care, she couldn't address the bailout or foriegn policy, and she could barely address her own so-called strong subject (energy) without lying about the Pipeline to Nowhere, and Gwen Ifill wouldn't call her on it. Her handlers tried valiantly to brain-download her facts, but forgot that she actually had to HAVE a brain.

The sad ongoing saga of the "Dumbing Down of America" continues. Perhaps Ryan Seacrest will host the next set of debates.

Posted by: owiz | October 6, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ms Marcus -- Biden's point which I think you missed was that he supported rights like visitation etc for gay couples. He saw marriage as a cultural and religious institution and as such suggested that the government (certainly not federal) had no role in that. There is nothing illogical in that position.

Posted by: Bowerguy1 | October 6, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Palin is a lost cause for equal marriage rights.

Joe Biden, though, did stumble over himself on the issue. I'm not sure what he thinks, and what he thinks he can say and still win the election.

Biden went on about how gay couples should have the same rights as hetero couples, then stopped short of marriage. Well, most of the more substantial rights and responsibilities are federal - social security benefits, joint tax status, immigration through marriage. Then Biden said marriage should be defined by religious institutions, yet it is the government that grants, or withholds, these rights and responsibilities.

Gay couples have been getting married in several places now and no skies have fallen. We just have more stable couples looking out for each other and their families.

Posted by: EricaJC | October 6, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse


"He saw marriage as a cultural and religious institution and as such suggested that the government (certainly not federal) had no role in that. There is nothing illogical in that position."

But it IS government that delegates or withholds marriage rights. If you, and he, really do agree with this, then the government should grant no marriage certificates at all. You are right that it could be handled entirely by religious institutions and families. Yet it is not.

Posted by: EricaJC | October 6, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Islamic muslims cut heads off- mutilate woman- do not allow woman to have rights. they are suicide bombers-
kill fellow muslims-murder children- love to use car bombs on civilians and
send Barrack HUSSAN OBAMA 200 million dollars in small donations to hide it from investorgators. What do they have in common with HUSSAIN OBAMA THAT THEY WANT TO PAY OVER 200 MILLION DOLLARS FOR? IT IS VERY OBVIOUS. I WISH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WOULD GO BACK TO ITS ROOTS. ZELL MILLER WARNED US. JOE LIBERMAN WARNED US.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 6, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Berg vs Obama: Obama and DNC File Motion to Delay Discovery ^ | 10/06/08 | Jeff Schrieber

Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 17:30:11 by NoobRep

TWO FILINGS: Berg Files Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint, Obama and DNC File Motion to Delay Discovery Until Judge Decides on Prior Motion to Dismiss

It was a busy day in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania today. First, attorney Philip Berg files a motion asking the court to permit him to file an amended complaint with several additions, and then next, attorneys for Barack Obama and the DNC file a motion asking the court for a protective order, essentially asking that the judge rule on their motion to dismiss for lack of standing before ruling on Berg's motion for expedited discovery.

Bear with me, here. Geez, I wish I could just do this for a full-time job -- it would be so much easier without all this other stuff (work, school, etc.) in the way!

Keep checking back. Due to the amount of information, I may split this up into two separate posts. We'll see.

-- Jeff

4:45 p.m. -- Obama, DNC File Motion for Protective Order

I'll pretty it up and explain things a little bit better later on this evening, but here's what's going on, so far and in brief:

As I was talking with one of my contacts at the courthouse about this motion, my phone rings and it is Philip Berg. He's fired up. Apparently, he had just been contacted by John LaVelle, attorney for Barack Obama and the DNC, and asked whether he would "put off discovery until Judge Surrick ruled on the motion to dismiss."

Until I have time to get into this more specifically, here's the rub:

Basically, the law states that Judge Surrick can order discovery even in the face of a pending dispositive motion such as the motion to dismiss filed on September 24 by Obama and the DNC. In other words, he can order full discovery, limited discovery, or none at all before ruling on the dismissal. The attorneys for Obama and the DNC, however, just filed a motion asking for a protective order stopping "all discovery in this action pending the Court's decision on defendant's motion to dismiss the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted."

Just like with the amended complaint, an attorney cannot simply file a protective order but must file a motion for one, essentially asking the court to issue one. Make sense so far? That's what this is -- defense attorney John LaVelle filed such a motion this afternoon, a motion asking the judge to issue a protective order which would allow for a ruling to come down on the motion to dismiss before the commencement of any discovery.

Obviously the first reaction is "what do they have to hide?" or something along those lines. Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides authorization to the court for just such a matter, ostensibly to protect one of the parties from embarrassment or oppression or the like. I'm sure there's some case law on it as well. Still, even knowing the rules, I will admit that my first reaction was one of suspicion.

As for Philip Berg, while he and I will chat later on, here's a snippet of what he had to say in our brief conversation:

"He's asking to delay discovery and, Jeff, I'm obviously going to oppose it, " he said. "This isn't right. This just isn't right. By tomorrow, we'll have a response and put out a press release. The American people should hear about this and, if they do, they should go nuts. It's time to put up or shut up."

Posted by: DrRevere | October 6, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Obama seems to be getting money from a lot of strange places.

An auditor for the Federal Election Commission is attempting to have his bosses seek a formal investigation into the collection by the Obama for President campaign of more than $200 million in potentially illegal political donations, including millions of dollars of illegal, foreign donations, and has sought a request for assistance from the Department of Justice or Federal Bureau of Investigation. But the analyst’s requests have largely been ignored. “I can’t get anyone to move. I believe we are looking at a hijacking of our political system that makes the Clinton and Gore fundraising scandals pale in comparison. And no one here wants to touch it.”

One reasons cited by his superiors, says the analyst, is that involvement by the Justice Department or FBI would be indicative of a criminal investigation, something the FEC would prefer not take place a month before the presidential election. Such actions, though, have been used to scuttle Republican campaigns in the past, the most famous being the Weinberger case in the days leading up to the 1992 re-election bid of President George H.W. Bush.

The analyst, who declines to be identified for fear of retribution, says that on four different occasions in the past three months, he sought to open formal investigations into the Obama campaign’s fundraising techniques, but those investigations have been discouraged. “Without formal approval, I can’t get the resources I need, manpower, that kind of thing. This is a huge undertaking.” And the analyst says that he believes that campaign finance violations have occurred.

The Obama campaign seems to be getting huge amounts of money.
More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won’t disclose.

And questions have arisen about millions more in foreign donations the Obama campaign has received that apparently have not been vetted as legitimate.

Obama has raised nearly twice that of John McCain’s campaign, according to new campaign finance report.

But because of Obama’s high expenses during the hotly contested Democratic primary season and an early decision to forgo public campaign money and the spending limits it imposes, all that cash has not translated into a financial advantage — at least, not yet.

We do have some of the names and they seem like some very nice people.
When FEC auditors have questions about contributions, they send letters to the campaign’s finance committee requesting additional information, such as the complete address or employment status of the donor.

Many of the FEC letters that Newsmax reviewed instructed the Obama campaign to “redesignate” contributions in excess of the finance limits.

Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can “redesignate” the contribution to the general election on its books.

In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as “Will, Good” from Austin, Texas.

Mr. Good Will listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You.”

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.

In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.

Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 — still well over the $4,600 limit.

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama’s Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.

In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there’s no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.

Similarly, a donor identified as “Pro, Doodad,” from “Nando, NY,” gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You,” just as Good Will had done.

The Obama campaign has also received contributions from some people who are not very nice.
US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was apparently the recipient of nearly $30,000 in campaign contributions from a pair of Palestinian Arabs in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

While recently investigating online campaign contribution logs, Pamela Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs discovered a curious set of entries from mid-2007 showing a series of contributions from two Arab men who listed their place of residence as “Rafah, GA.”

Skeptical about the existence of a town in Georgia called Rafah, Geller did some digging and discovered that the contributions had in fact come from the Gaza Strip border town of Rafah.

It is illegal for a US presidential candidate to receive contributions from non-US citizens, or to receive in excess of $2,300 from a single individual.

Curious for more information, WorldNetDaily correspondent Aaron Klein tracked down the two Gaza Arabs, brothers Monir and Hosam Edwan.

The Edwan brothers said that they and many other Palestinians love Obama, and are confident he will be the US president to force Israel to surrender land for the birth of a Palestinian Arab state.

When pressed about their illegal contribution, the brothers altered their story and insisted that they had not made an online donation, but had rather purchased $30,000 worth of t-shirts from the Obama campaign website.

WorldNetDaily also learned that while Monir and Hosam are themselves believed to be non-religious, their clan is known for supporting Hamas.

That Obama has some very interesting supporters. If he wins the election I sure hope it works out well for all of us, but what I’m thinking is are all his supporters going

Posted by: DrRevere | October 6, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Ruth: I get it, you post a story clearly missing objectivity but creating an interesting clash of ideology. Wow, wish I was a member of the forth estate, dedicated to truth and objectivity, like you Ruth, like you.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | October 7, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Joe Biden stumbled on the issue because basically he supports gay marriage personally, as he indicated whenever he said that there is no constitutional difference between gay and straight couples. However, he has to stop short of making gay marriage a policy so as not to wind up religious and conservative people who have a problem with gay marriage. If he said he would legislate gay marriage, they probably wouldn't get elected.

Sarah Palin was much more incoherent. I thought the funniest bit was when she was asked about the executive role of the VP (as opposed to legislative). She started going on about her executive experience, which is not the same thing at all. It seemed to me that she had no understanding of the different branches of power (executive, legislative) and I thought this was key in showing up how little she knows about what her role will be as VP.

Posted by: Isabel2 | October 8, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

John appeared as he was a nasty obnoxious tired ole man. I watched those town hall meetings that are posted and I have no clue why he wants this forum because in the other meetings when anyone gave him a challenging questions he got very "testy" till one his "audience plants" said something to stick up for John when he was being put down on issues. That he loved (someone stickup up for him) but basically those meetings went down with John coming across as a nasty person.
IMO, folks this is nothing but nasty mean ole man. God help us all.

Posted by: mac7 | October 8, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Obama’s Hidden Records

1. Occidental College records -- Not released
2. Columbia College records -- Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper -- ''''not available''''
4. Harvard College records -- Not released
5. Selective Service Registration -- Not released
6. Medical records -- Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule -- ''''not available''''
8. Law practice client list -- Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate -- Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth -- Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published -- None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles -- None
13. Record of baptism-- Not released or ''''not available''''
14. Illinois State Senate records--''''not available''''

Add to that, how did he pay for college? How did he go from Occidental to Columbia, who got him in? How was he made Prez of the Harvard Law Review without witting any laws!!!! Or an article even.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 9, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The media is upset with a spectator shouting Kill him at a Palin speech.
Why isnt the media upset with the thousands women and children slaughtered by Odinga Hassan Obamas marxist muslim cousin that Hassan Obama campaigned for him and encouraged him to riot. I guess black Christians lives do not mean anything to the liberal DNC controlled media.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 9, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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