Carol Fowler: An uptick explained

Before I left the office last night, I glanced at my stats page in Typepad and noticed something odd: I was getting a lot of hits from Google on a year-old post headlined "Carol Fowler and the Dark Side" (which, now that I look back at it, was an odd headline for the subject).

Later that night, I realized why — the quote from Ms. Fowler on Politico. Sheesh. What a bunch of nothing — my post last year was more interesting.

Folks, compared to the usual overheated rhetoric from Democrats of a certain persuasion about those ofFowlercarol
us who oppose abortion, this was nothing. When I heard the quote on TV (my wife watches TV news, even local "if it bleeds it leads" TV news, usually when I’m not in the room; but there I was trapped in my recliner holding a grandbaby and begging somebody to pop in a DVD — I ended up staying up way too late to rewatch "The Graduate"), I thought sure it would be something provocative. When I heard, "Choosing someone whose primary qualification seems to be that she has…," I thought the next thing would be a reference to some distinguishing feature of female anatomy. But when I then heard, "…n’t had an abortion," I could not freaking believe that someone was making an issue of it.

Come on, folks — at least what Don said was offensive, and I was fairly dismissive of that meaning anything, either. As any rational person who knows the way human beings talk with friends would be.

Anyway, that explains the uptick in interest over Carol Fowler. Again, sheesh.

And again, I will urge the partisans: Get over it. Democrats, quit your whining about "Swiftboating," which, I’m sorry to tell you, is not a real word, much less something for you to keep wetting your pants about, expecting the GOP to do it to you at any minute. That "quit picking on me" pose doesn’t work on anybody but your whiniest base. (And Barack, dismissing the GOPpers for acting hurt about "lipstick," then whining yourself about "Swiftboating" is about as petty as I’ve heard you get.)

And Repubicans, get over your crying about the lipstick and the Fowler remark and the mean media and the pregnant daughter and the rest.

And then let’s try to have a grownup election, OK?

33 thoughts on “Carol Fowler: An uptick explained

  1. some guy

    I think you’re wrong about the “Swiftboating” claims. Yes, there are Democrats who say unclassy things, who go on the attac, and rumormonger.
    But the GOP has made an INDUSTRY of it. Surely, as a John McCain fan, you know the effect of exceedingly nasty internal GOP politics right here in the SC primary in 2000. That was organized stuff, and while “plausible deniability” may have been achieved, I think few doubt that Karl Rove and Ralph Reed were major players.
    And during this current campaign, “Swiftboat” master Jerome Corsi has published a book that has been critically derided as unfactual, lazy, and unbalanced. And who’s the publisher of the book? Mary Matalin, close friend of the Bush Administration.
    Everyone understands that national politics can be nasty — yes, on both sides. But to deny that the right has made rumors and attacks and falsehoods a staple of their campaigning is pretty far off-base, in my opinion.

  2. p.m.

    Carol Fowler should resign her position as S.C. Democrat chair and you, Mr. Warthen, should be leading the charge to insist on it.
    Her comment is so far beyond the pale as to indicate she may need psychiatric attention.

  3. Tim

    Some guy, Michael Moore made Farenheit 9/11 and Al Franken wrote “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.” I think it’s pretty much a dead heat as far as the “swiftboating” claims. You lose all credibility when you only point the finger one way. Plus, you just proved Brad’s point. I’d encourage you to take your head out of the sand and start actually thinking critically instead of drinking the Democratic Kool-Aid.

  4. some guy

    Well, it is certainly true that there are a number of left-leaning books, documentaries and the like expressing outrage — in some cases over-the-top — at policies and actions of the Bush Administration and right-wing politics, in general. What “Swiftboating” refers to, in particular, is election-year strategy based on well coordinated, well timed smears.

  5. Susanna K.

    Seriously, if the SC Democratic party wants to get regular voters more involved, they’re going to have to learn a little couth so we’re not embarrassed to be associated with them.

  6. slugger

    Mr. & Mrs. Fowler. Birds of a feather. It takes a real buzzard to make either of the comments “he said, she said”.

  7. tomfliesthebonnieblue

    the dems have shown they are incapable of having a ‘grown up election’, and their off the cuff remarks expose their true nature, and intolerance of anyone who isn’t drinking their koolaid. as for her non-apology to those she may have offended, she offended every thinking person in the state and the country.
    i too think you, Brad, should be calling for her resignation, and your call for us to ‘get over it’ is insulting.

  8. george32

    when either General (we recognize and honor earned military titles here is SC and even like civilian equivalent ones) or Mrs. Fowler makes remark as egregious as New Orleans being hit by Katrina as punishment by God or the US deserving 911, then it is time to take umbrage.
    Brad-swiftboarding, waterboarding for any type of torture, —gate for any kind of spparently scandalous activity have become part of the american vernacular and are no doubt found in some popular usage dictionaties. Language and standards change-I still remember being penalized by a college debate judge from Georgetown in the late 1960s for using prioritize as a verb because it was not so recognized by any mainstream dictionary at the time. At the same meet, the good father/professor lambasted a participant for the notoriously incorrect usage “running the gauntlet” pointing out the one cannot run a glove but can throw one down in challenge before “running the gantlet.”

  9. red

    funny how you refer to Fowler by title (General) but derisively refer to McCain as “military aristocracy.”
    Trying to figure out the pattern here

  10. wtf

    Tim, you may not like how the facts were presented by Michael Moore or Al Franken, but the facts that the convey are true. Just because you don’t like the facts, doesn’t make them not any less valid. It’s called acceptance of reality which is something that dittoheads really don’t seem to have.
    There are no red facts or blue facts, but it seems the the GOP blubber up anytime one of their blowhards gets caught telling anything but the truth. A difference of opinions are perfectly fine as long as they are all formed from the same set of facts.
    Maybe this explains their love for Palin as she is as phony and as truthful as a three dollar bill.
    Drip, drip, drip…Palin is running a slow but steady leak which will bottom out just in time for November.
    Put some lipstick on that.

  11. Brad Warthen

    I say again to all of you, Get Over It.
    I knew that as much as McCain and Obama had held themselves aloof from the partisan spin cycle cesspool, as soon as they got their parties nominations they would be overrun and outshouted by the hordes of partisans just spoiling for the general election fight.
    I didn’t anticipate it being this bad, or this wearing to the soul.

  12. faust

    This Fowler babe and her inanities represent the leadership of the Democrat Party, and we’re supposed to have an “adult” election?
    How exactly? Sorry, but that ship has pretty clearly sailed.
    With democrat leadership tossing out little gems like this against a woman who is eminently more qualified for the whitehouse
    than their nominee, I’d like to know how the
    donkey party gets credit for being the party
    which best represents women in America.
    I don’t believe the women of America are going to support this kind of hypocrisy, and I think polls show it.
    I hope huge liberals in democrat leadership like this Fowler b*tch keep their slime coming.
    How’s that for “getting over it?”

  13. Lee Muller

    Wake up!
    None of the Fowlers have any credibilty. They are spinmeisters.
    Obama’s audience sure thought Obama was calling Sarah Palin a “pig” – just listen to their cheers, using her name.

  14. Joe

    Characters like Fowler are politicos, have no gender, just fangs and bladders.
    Whatever their bosses tell the to do, they slash and pee and poop by command. And the media sniff and salivate for bleed to lead nuggets.
    Palin was sucker punched by the obamaoid with pig and lipstick call and chant he did with his afroid chorus,
    but the chicago metrosexual thug is such a lightweight by American standards, that he missed a stomp down on a Good White Woman American.
    Must be that crack the faux negro snorted during the back to hood afro social justice beatnik jive sessions in chicago hoodlums.
    Can’t hit a sitting duck. Can obama shoot a moose, or beaver shooting his specialty?
    The democrat national committee should be charged with child abuse for putting the kenyan illegitimate fatherless boy before the American Family as a leader of all Americans.
    Commander in Chief???? the obamaoid. GAK!

  15. Mike Cakora

    Brad –
    The Fowler clan is rather, er, forthcoming and for their party’s sake they should seal themselves off from the media until November 5, 2008.
    But there are underlying currents in far-left radical feminist circles that Ms. Fowler, perhaps subconsciously or maybe unwittingly, exposed to daylight — one of which you touched on — and they are fertility — fecundity — and the search for the perfect child.
    Having kids is irresponsible in the minds of ultra far-left enviro-wackos. Fine, I respect and in fact encourage them, since they’ll not be breeding more opponents to normalcy; extinction is a heckuva way to lose an argument, but a win is a win… Palin with her brood is certainly a threat to that probably small, radical segment. But the notion that large families are harmful or at least inconvenient is common among more mainstream folks, both men and women, so the number of Palin’s critics on this front is considerable. Large families are less common today than a generation ago.
    The second, the search for perfect offspring, is subtle but has really taken hold among those who want the very best for their progeny. Here’s a test that you should understand pretty durn well because you’ve seen the phenomenon without realizing its significance: where and when would you be able to find a child with Down syndrome with virtually 100% certainty?

    Hint: on weekends.
    Another hint: at church.
    Answer: At just about any Roman Catholic church during mass late Saturday or on Sunday.

    Amniocentesis is common and lots of couples decide to test for Down syndrome. I have trouble believing that 90% decide to abort, but I’ve seen that number frequently. At age 58 and raised as a Roman Catholic in the Chicago suburbs, I remember growing up and going to parochial school with kids who were lovingly called “mongoloids” at the time and really can’t understand why folks would throw away that kind of kid. That Palin decided to carry to term a child with Down syndrome is simply too much for the far left women’s righists who demand perfection and convenience.
    There are certainly a lots of misbegotten reasons for those on the left to oppose Palin. She’s attracted a lot of opposition just because she appears to be a rather normal person. But make no mistake, her choice upsets a lot of folks who trumpet a woman’s right to choose because they believe that she chose incorrectly.

  16. Mike Cakora

    As should be expected, Taranto does a better job:

    We find Fowler’s comment revealing and disturbing. And she is not alone in striking this theme. Here is Andrew “Beagle With a Smear” Sullivan of The Atlantic:

    And then, because [John McCain] could see he was going to lose, ten days ago, he threw caution to the wind and with no vetting whatsoever, picked a woman who, by her decision to endure her own eight-month pregnancy of a Down Syndrome child in public, that he was going to reignite the culture war as a last stand against Obama.

    Sullivan loses control of his syntax, but Salon’s Cintra Wilson manages to make a similar point with flawless grammar:

    Sarah Palin is a bit comical, like one of those cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms. What her Down syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter unequivocally prove, however, is that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform that ensures her own political ambitions with the conservative right.

    This is worse than tasteless or even unhinged. It is depraved. It represents an inversion of any reasonable conception of right and wrong, including liberal conceptions.
    Fowler uses Palin’s motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women’s equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but “a woman’s right to choose,” here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.
    Sullivan and Wilson go further, ascribing evil intent to an act of maternal love. To Sullivan, Palin’s decision to carry her child to term is a salvo in a “culture war”–that is, an act of aggression against those with different political views. (That, at least, is how he sees it for the purpose of this post. In an earlier one, he praised her for going through “eight months of pregnancy and a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in”–which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)
    To Wilson, Palin’s adherence to her own principles about the sanctity of life is an act of neglect toward her children–proof “that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform.” Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live.

    Breathtaking, no.

  17. erb

    When the democrats realized they were in trouble (again!!), their true character was revealed (again!!). No surprise, here.
    As for “swiftboating,” the dems naturally object to anyone telling the truth about their pitiful candidates, as opposed to fawning over their self-serving fantasies.
    Michael Moore and Al Franken?? One’s a comedian, and the other’s a moron. You’re free to guess which descriptor fits which person. (Hint: There is no wrong answer!)

  18. James D McCallister

    Palin didn’t know what Charlie Gibson was talking about when he asked her if she believed in the “Bush Doctrine.” Whoa.

  19. Lee Muller

    Only a fool would answer a question without getting Gibson to first define his so-called “Bush Doctrine”.
    Striking our enemies on their own soil before they can strike us again actually is the Thomas Jefferson Doctrine, first practiced in Tripoli, Libya.

  20. Lee Muller

    The radical Democrats say Sarah Palin is a “bad mother” for choosing to have a baby with Downs Syndrome. What about Mrs. Palin’s “right to choose” to have a baby?

  21. bud

    I knew that as much as McCain and Obama had held themselves aloof from the partisan spin cycle cesspool, as soon as they got their parties nominations they would be overrun and outshouted by the hordes of partisans just spoiling for the general election fight.
    Ok, now I’m hoping mad. Brad, the dems were slimed and smeared constantly in both the 2000 and 2004 campaigns while they were attempting to talk about issues. Now we have McCain, NOT, I repeat, NOT his surrogates or the 527s running total crap ads that completely misconstrue Obama, his stand on issues and the latest pure smear, the claim that Obama wanted to provide sex education to kindergarten kids. The press feels compelled to suggest there is balance in the smears but that is simply not the case. The GOP has and continues to run a gutter campaign that is beyond the pail.
    I find it odd that you continue to claim McCain is a maverick, reach-across the aisle candidate in the face of this avalanche of evidence to the contrary. You are looking more and more like the partisan hack you claim to abhor. Come out against McCain for his slimy tactics and don’t feel this need to provide unwarranted balance. It’s not justified. The GOP is acting irresponsibly in all this, because they have nothing of substance to say about the issues. Shame on you and the rest of the media for serving as the catalyst for the McCain smear machine. This is journalism at it’s worst.

  22. Lee Muller

    John Kerry’s faking his heroism in Vietnam and working as a stooge for the KGB actually WERE real issues in 2004, like it or not.
    The revealed mental instability of Al Gore has made lots of people glad he was not elected in 2000.

  23. Phillip

    Mike C, no candidate controls the entire bandwidth of folks on his side of the political spectrum. Obama made immediately clear that he would not participate in discussion of any aspect of Palin’s children.
    By the same token, I don’t hold McCain responsible for the appalling things written about Obama or his wife by the right-wing extremist blogs, or even our beloved Faux News (“baby mama.”)
    However, McCain is slipping a little bit in the integrity department, and that has me worried that he’s sold his soul to Steve Schmidt.
    In the end amidst all the hysteria on both sides, we have to decide how much of it is generated purposefully by the candidate himself. Speaking of Sullivan, I don’t always agree with him, but he did parse Obama’s appeal down to a phrase which truly summarizes why I support the Senator from Illinois over McCain: the possession of “a first-rate mind and a first-rate temperament.”

  24. Phillip

    PS, Mike: You said, “She’s attracted a lot of opposition just because she appears to be a rather normal person.” Aside from the fact that that is of course not true, and moreover, in your heart I’m sure you know that’s not true, let me just say this:
    You and I both see a lot of people on a recurring basis in our daily lives who we would say seem like perfectly competent, “rather normal” people. But we wouldn’t think each of them was qualified to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, would we?
    Besides, didn’t we just have 8 years of a “regular guy” in the White House, a guy you could sit down and have a beer with? How’d that work out? I don’t want a “normal person” sitting across from Mahmoud Ahmedinijad or Vladimir Putin, I want an EXCEPTIONAL person.

  25. bud

    Mike, I’m not sure what the references to the Catholic Church have to do with anything. But let’s be perfectly clear, the Catholic Church has plenty to answer for in it’s abhorent pedophilia scandal. So if you’re suggesting the Holy Baracuda would fit in with the Catholic Church that is hardly a virtue in my book.

  26. Lee Muller

    Face it – Obama is an empty suit, a puppet put up by the Chicago machine and finance by Arabs who hate America.

  27. Mike Cakora

    bud –
    My reference to the Catholic Church — yes, I know that Palin is not a member and did not suggest that she was or would be — has to do with its opposition to abortion, the consequence of which is that one seems to find more kids with Down syndrome among Catholics and you can see that at Catholic Sabbath services (mass). I grew up in an era and an area of large families, another factor attributable to Catholic doctrine on birth control.
    Palin has proved attractive to traditional Catholics because of her circumstances. That’s one reason for the left’s search for evidence that Palin, as an AOG member, spoke in tongues: Catholics are not big fans of that, snake-handling, or other practices commonly and mistakenly attributed to all AOG members.
    Finally, I’ve argued elsewhere that the horrid outbreak and cover-up of child abuse in the Church is not related to pedophilia — a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children — but rather to the relaxation of standards for admission to some Catholic seminaries to include those with a homosexual orientation under the theory that a requirement was for celibacy, so orientation did not matter as long as the candidate was chaste. The shift began sometime in the 1970s, long after I’d left a seminary typical of most in that there was constant monitoring of students for any sign of sexual behavior. Note that I use “behavior” and not “misbehavior” because sex was not allowed. Of course with Catholics, sects are also not allowed, but that’s another matter.
    The essence of the argument is simply that pubescent males were overwhelmingly the victims of the predatory priests, and that’s a factor in homosexuality. Having abandoned the Inquisition and perhaps hoping that a softened attitude would attract Episcopalians, bishops and others in charge sought to manage the matter by directing the miscreants to confession and penance to solve the problem and send them elsewhere to start anew. That was no solution; once unleashed, the sexual appetite does not vanish and the bad guys returned to their revolting ways. That should have been no surprise to students of human nature, but common sense was not common.

  28. Mike Cakora

    Phillip –
    You raise a good point, so I will rank Palin as exceptional from what I’ve seen so far. Granted, somebody is writing her speeches now, but those are mere words, important, but hollow unless accompanied by action, and I’m an action guy.
    Here’s action for you: taking on the GOP establishment coupled with her performance in office in getting a legislature to do what it showed no interest in doing for years and getting Big Oil to fulfill its commitments are either courageous or pretty savvy acts, no? Not only do Biden and Obama not have such notches on the pistols, they don’t even have pistols. So I thank you for clarifying my thoughts and points on this.

  29. Phillip

    Mike, please. Exceptional? She’s done some impressive things in Alaska and she is inherently intelligent and a talented politician. (Gives a good speech, you might say.)
    One of the brighter proponents of a new conservatism, Ross Douthat over at the Atlantic, has a more sober take on it, and he’s not alone among conservatives.
    If you want to say that it’s less of a gamble to have Sarah Palin a heartbeat from the Presidency as the VP for the oldest Prez in history than it would be to have Obama as President, hey, I can accept that. But a major gamble, nevertheless, no?

  30. Mike Cakora

    Phillip –
    I sincerely appreciate your good judgment in your selection of critiques by mainstream conservatives — ya done good! So I too shall endeavor to reply in an equally thoughtful manner.
    A not-so-thoughtful observation is that they were rating her on her interview responses and look forward to hearing more. I’ll put that aside and argue substance as evidenced by her responses.
    One of the conservative purists, Lowry, wrote that she seemed weak on economic and budgetary policy. That’s a good point, but it overlooks her remarks and her actions in dealing with the oil companies upon taking office as governor. She had a firm grasp of the law, the existing contracts, and what she wanted to accomplish, the result of great advice and, I believe, good instincts. She was no puppet of anyone, but found the expertise required to prevail.
    In setting the fees and settling the pipeline issue, she did not abrogate or otherwise change any provision in any preexisting contract or other agreement the state of Alaska had with the oil companies. (Can you tell that I work as a contracts manager? I find this sort of stuff interesting!) She cleverly pushed them for all she could, then had her folks draw up a solicitation for the pipeline that the oil companies insisted they would never use. They did not bid, but others did, with the winner being a more capable pipeline builder. The dirty little secret is that despite their representations, protests, and undies-in-a-bunch behavior, Big Oil’s the preexisting contracts with the state will require to use that pipeline.
    Before, during, and after the discussions Palin stated her faith in free markets and private enterprise. Whatever her expertise in economics may be, she’s got the instincts to move forward with a conservative economic approach.
    I’ll throw in this: given the current nominees for both slots on both tickets and the candidates that were in the hunt for those slots, only Romney would likely have cut such a good and fair deal for the state. Even some of the Republican wanna-bes would likely have tried to violate some term or condition of the preexisting agreements, throwing the whole durn mess into the courts for years of litigation.
    I’m not sure what the complaints are regarding budget issues and policy, but at the state and federal levels budgets would not pass SEC, GAAP, or any common-sense criteria, so I’m not concerned. Arguably any company employing federal standards would soon find itself subject to criminal sanctions, as I’m sure the triumvirate you cite would agree.
    Rob Dreher feels a bit better about Palin’s performance in the interview (see his update 2) yet needs more convincing; he always does.
    I might agree with you if your point is that that given these extraordinary times we need an extraordinary vice president, one adept and proven at managing foreign policy nuances. That candidate must also be prepared through experience to deal with the domestic challenges facing the nation: healthcare costs, existing social program costs, economic growth, etc.
    McCain decided that no candidate with such credentials could give him a fighting chance to be elected. His selection of Palin was a compromise, but it seems both savvy and practical. It was pragmatic: it gives him a great shot at getting elected.
    That said, why in the heck did the Dems select Obama? He has no track record of performance, of bringing folks of diverse opinions together, of foreign policy achievements, of — well, you get the idea. Ditto for his VP pick.
    As I’ve written elsewhere, the “inexperienced” Palin has something the opposition doesn’t: taking on the her own party’s establishment, getting a legislature to do what it showed no interest in doing for years, and getting Big Oil to fulfill its commitments are either courageous or pretty savvy acts, no? Not only do Biden and Obama not have such notches on the pistols, they don’t even have pistols.

  31. Lee Muller

    Obama failed as a community organizer.
    In contrast to Palin’s many achievements, most of the housing projects which Obama worked on as a community organizer failed. Many are shuttered. Millions of tax dollars were funnelled into contracts given the Nation of Islam and Mr. Rezko for lots of these failed projects.

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