Koch: To Palin, he says ‘victory’

It was not that long ago that people said the differences between Republicans and Democrats were negligible. But after watching both conventions these past weeks, it is clear that this dichotomy is no longer true.

The Democratic Party spent a week in Denver offering solutions to the nation’s problems and hope for a better future. Last night, the Republicans concluded a week in Minneapolis by spewing fear and offering nothing but obfuscation and outright lies. With 60 days left until the most important election of the new century, it is remarkable to observe the contrast between the two parties.

Somewhere in the first Bush term there was a brief moment when I admired the Republicans. At that point in time, they had figured out how to win elections, and even appeared to have some idea how to govern. But then the cracks began to show and Karl Rove no longer seemed to be another evil genius.At their apex of power, with all levers of government at their command and the ability to seamlessly implement their platform, the Republicans failed.

On both domestic and foreign fronts, the American people have rejected the policies of the Republican Party. The failure of their domestic agenda is embodied in the failure to privatize Social Security. As for foreign policy, four simple letters are all you need to know – I-R-A-Q.

So now, how does the party move forward? The answer: they don’t.

In an election where it is overwhelmingly clear that the country is one a failed course what do the Republicans offer? Fear. What is Sarah Palin’s main objection to Barack Obama’s position on Iraq? That he didn’t use the word victory in a speech about it.

If Governor Palin had espoused any of her own views on Iraq, we could have a real debate on the two positions. But she didn’t. If Governor Palin had offered any positions on any issues we could debate them. But she hasn’t.

Instead, she belittled Senator Obama’s life and work experiences while glorifying her own. She was on the PTA, she was a mayor of a town with a population of 7,025 people and she is a proud mother. Those are all great qualities, but they do not guarantee her her the qualification to be president. Her speech revealed the truth behind her selection. It was a cynical move by a cynical politician belonging to a cynical party.

The Democratic Party offers a different path. On the issues that matter to Americans — the economy, healthcare, energy and education — the Democrats offer change. The last eight years have left us weaker at home and ridiculed abroad. The Democratic message is: we know what’s wrong, and if you give us the chance, we know how to fix it

I am told there is a culture war going on in America right now, but the war I see is between two political parties with near opposing views on where the country is and where it should be. The optimism and hopefulness of America is what sets us apart from the rest of the world; the Democratic Party understands this — and that’s why the Democrats will win.

So, to Governor Palin I say: Victory!


  • Anonymous

    Important to note that when Palin was mayor of Wasilla (1996 to 2002), the population was under to 5500, and at most 6300 at the end of her term.

    The 9000 figure everyone is parroting comes from a census estimate for 2007.

  • Yale'08

    NEWS FLASH for Jacob Koch:

    Perhaps you haven't noticed while all kooked up in your ivory tower, but since graduating and going into the real world, the rest of us have noticed that Iraq IS on the cusp of victory. Maybe you didn't notice, but the province of Anbar (the former hotbed of the insurgency) was handed over to the Iraqis this week by our military. If you haven't notice, even your man said in an interview that the surge has been a wild success.

    If you haven't noticed, you're wrong.

    Unfortunately, you haven't noticed.

  • Mike Faro '93

    My comment is about one small part of this article: The suggestion that Democrats offer change on issues that matter to Americans…specifically education.

    Educational change in the US is most clearly seen by the success of Charter Schools. By ANY available metric, Charter Schools outperform their public counterparts, and do so while spending less per student. Unfortunately, these schools are a threat to the almighty teachers unions, and Democrats have aligned themselves completely with that group. As such, Democrats consistently vote against and lobby against Charter Schools, and do so in spite of overwhelming evidence that they provide a superior education to their students.

    Is this change? It sounds like more of the same to me…

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps the author of this article did not pay close attention to the second convention he watched (or interpreted "we need a strong America to secure peace" as fear-mongering rather than clear-sighted foreign policy).

    As for the supposed outright lies spewed, I wonder which lies he's talking about. McCain and Palin have spent their political careers fighting corruption, no matter which party engaged in it? That's true. They claim they'll reform Washington by reaching to both sides? Well, while Senator Obama talks a lot about bipartisanship, this ticket has practiced it. As for foreign policy, the author should know that one word hardly summarizes a complex situation, and while the Iraq war was a mistake, so too would have been pulling out to allow the nascent Iraqi government to crumble into chaotic sectarian violence. This, I believe, is what Sarah Palin meant in her criticism of Senator Obama's position on Iraq, as he still says - even recognizing the success of the surge today - he would not change his opposition to the surge. That's a demonstration of either imprudence or just plain hubris.

    Both Democrats and Republicans offer change this coming fall. What really separates the two camps are differences in tax policies, energy policies, and foreign policy stances. The Democrats offer the sort of change that will expand government along tax-and-spend liberal economic policy lines (see "Obama Is the Anti-Thatcher", http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122049117673697593.html?mod=djemITPE, and the current state of European economies including the UK), praising work but promising taxes that will hurt business and inflate the welfare state. I won't expand on other policy details here, as this comment is already lengthy as is; however, I would ask the author of this article - and it's readers - to carefully consider the Democratic message he mentioned: "we (the Democrats) know what's wrong, and if you give us the chance, we know how to fix it (for you)". On the other hand, you have the Republican candidate saying, "I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you" and "I'm running for President, to fight for you to make government stand on your side and not in your way." There is indeed a different emphasis in the Republican platform, but it is hardly cynicism: it is an optimism rightly placed in the American people instead of an ever-expanding bureaucracy.

  • Tarvold


  • Anonymouse

    NEWS FLASH for Jacob Koch
    NEWS FLASH for Jacob Koch
    NEWS FLASH for Jacob Koch
    NEWS FLASH for Jacob Koch
    NEWS FLASH for Jacob Koch

  • Alum '81

    I'm an Independent voter who watched both conventions and saw things differently. The Democrats promised change but did not propose any innovative ideas--just the typical tax and spend populist policies designed to stir up class warfare. Higher taxes on individuals, business, capital gains--all things that will slow the economy and shift jobs overseas. No school vouchers or new ideas about education, social security, medicare or immigration. Obama picked Biden to compensate for his own weakness in foreign policy. But Biden is the consumate Washington insider--in the Senate longer than McCain--and offers nothing new. In addition, Biden's own foreign policy judgement is poor. He opposed the first Gulf War, voted for the Iraq war but against the surge that been so successful. He even proposed dividing Iraq into three countries--something the Iraqis adamantly opposed. They spent a good part of their convention bashing the Republicans and trying to say McCain would be a "third term" for President Bush. This is ludicrous, as McCain has differed from the President on many policies. Certainly, more than Obama has differed from Pelosi/Reid--leaders of the most unpopular congress in recorded history.
    The Republican convention had the usual criticisms of the other party, but they did offer someone from outside of Washington--Sarah Palin who could help reform government. She was understandably critical of Obama--who had demeaned her as only "a small town mayor", ignoring the fact that she was the Governor of the largest state in the USA.(I noticed you did this as well). She was also correct to respond to all the liberal media elites who had been rhetorically poking at her family for days. She was indeed a "pit bull with lipstick" defending herself and her family. Clearly the message of their convention was not "fear", but security and government reform. And energy independence which will require increased production, including drilling, as well as conservation.
    The candidates are very different as well as the parties. Obama could become the first bi-racial president and certainly is youthful and delivers a good speech. But his resume is thin. He touts his work as a "community organizer", but I haven't seen much on this in the media. What I could find suggests he was able to get asbestos testing for dwellings in Chicago, but this is when he developed ties to his benefactor Rezko, who later appeared to help Obama obtain land for his million dollar mansion. He spent time in the Illinois senate but voted "present" over 130 times. In the US senate, he never took stands against the leadership of his own party, and has spent most of his time running for President.
    McCain, on the other hand, has a full resume with lots of independent action. He has fought bravely and suffered for his country. At about the same age that McCain was in the navy, Obama was, in his own words "smoking pot, drinking and using a little blow". We don't know, and the media hasn't asked, if he had sold drugs as well. McCain is older and has been in the Senate a long time, but he has shown some independence.
    Sarah Palin offers the biggest change in this election. An energetic working mom with executive experience and a record of fighting against corruption in both political parties. She has limited foreign policy experience (about the same as Obama), but a lot of knowledge about energy that will be critical for the future of this country.
    I am looking forward to debates on substantive issues and policies. May the best men or man+woman win.

  • W.C.

    [Editors: Please discard my previous post, which had a grammatical error; this version fixes that error]

    Jacob Koch: "So now, how does the party move forward? The answer: they don't."

    Actually, Governor Palin did mention in her convention speech that the biggest threat to the U.S. is the importation of foreign petroleum, which empowers regimes hostile to the U.S. and can destabilize the economy.

    Therefore, as mentioned in Palin’s speech, "energy independence" is apparently an important part of the GOP platform, which includes expanding domestic oil drilling (including drilling in Alaska) as well as increasing the number of nuclear power plants (~80% of France's electricity is generated by nuclear power; Obama's state of Illinois has a nuclear power plant). These two initiatives alone are not apparently embraced by the Democratic Party. (A transcript of Palin’s speech is at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94258995, in which she states

    “Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines … build more nuclear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources. We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers. .” )

    Environmentalists must understand this very important stance. By pushing the GOP to build more solar and wind power stations, a McCain-Palin ticket going to obliterate alternative energy as a partisan issue. In order for this country to move forward, the anti-alternative-energy wing of the GOP must be destroyed, leaving them with no place to hide. As demonstrated by Mikhail Gorbachev (who rose through the ranks of the Soviet Union and then dissolved it), the most effective reformers of an organization come from within the ranks of the organization.

    McCain has a strong record of bi-partisan collaboration, and both McCain and Palin seem eager to veto and fight wasteful spending.

    In the end, the reality is that the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden actually endorsed John McCain as president in an interview with John Stewart on August 2, 2005. In fact, Biden wanted John McCain to be the vice-presidential running mate for Democrat John Kerry (Yale B.A. 1966) in Kerry’s failed run for the Presidency. You can see the entire video for yourself at http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=125441&title=Joe-Biden-Pt,-2

    So if you trust Obama’s long-term judgment,
    And if you trust Biden’s long-term judgment,
    And because Obama CHOSE Biden, who supports McCain as president…