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Sarah Palin vs. Joe Biden: Comedy! Drama! Horror!

Img00038 I attended the coolest, most entertaining VP debate party last night with 500 other people at Traverse City's amazing State Theater. Note the sub-title of the big event!  For those inside watching the debate, it was all of the above, Comedy, Drama and Horror all wrapped up in a fun filled evening with Michael Moore.

Before I describe the event, I must confess that I really don't do politics. Historically, I have voted Republican, Democrat and Abstention (no vote at all) in equal parts.  I have this crazy theory that politics (which always seems shallow and often ridiculous to me)  will be subsumed by global economics.  National politics may not become obsolete. But I expect that it will continue to become subsumed by global economic ties between nations and the reality that we are all in this together (and by 'we' I mean human beings).  Our economic ties to China, for instance, preclude preclude us from being adversarial with what would otherwise be a mortal enemy.

I am a great believer in the human intellect. I believe in smart people making smart decisions based on information, not ideology, whether they are practicing law, running a company or running our country. I understand that this is not the way the world has historically worked. But I have great confidence that the availability of information on the internet offers the possibility that we will not need to fall back on ideology as a short-hand, quick device to take positions on complex issues. Yes, Americans might even research the issues and make informed decisions in the internet age.

Needless to say, I am voting Obama - Biden this year.  McCain and Palin have shown me nothing to suggest they are capable of higher thinking, and neither has any academic credentials which indicate that they are remotely intelligent people.  The inside scoop in Washington is that you have to really 'dumb it down' when explaining things to McCain because he is not very smart (sound like someone else we know?). Sarah Palin is a great mom. But she is clearly not a smart person, and has shown a capacity to regurgitate non-responsive ideology to virtually any possible question.  People who do not have the capacity for critical or complex thought have no choice but to fall back on ideology which can, on its best day, simply offer boilerplate non-answers to complex questions. 

So to watch the debate at the State Theater with Michael Moore and 500 other people, 400 of them who will be voting Obama - Biden, was a lot like watching your College football team beat up on the opposition at your school's Homecoming game. The crowd roared virtually every time Palin rambled, forgetting for the moment that no one without understanding of complex policy issues should become the leader of the free world - the most powerful decision maker on earth.

Here are some more pictures from the coolest Biden- Palin debate party in the United States last night.

The great debate @ The State, 2008!



Yes, that is Michael Moore in the orange baseball hat.  He made it clear to Republicans in the audience that they were 'safe' .. no worries.


Pre-debate festivities included the Obama Girl video and "It's Raining John McCain."




One Lesbo

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Sarah White

I liked your blog until you started talking politics. If I want political coverage, I will visit a political blog. If I want to read about the practice of law, I would visit your blog. But not anymore.


Sorry to see you leave Sarah over a disagreeable post. You might be better served to chalk it up to "we don't always agree." I know these are emotion-charged political times for everyone. Part of our ideal is 'intelligent practice of law' rather than 'blustering' 'posturing' or traditional practice models. I have a hard time with Bush and believe that many of the mistakes he made were simply because he lacked enough intellect to have the capacity to make smart decisions. No one would suggest that McCain is a smart man. He doesn't profess intellect as one of his attributes. Ms. Palin has shown me nothing to suggest she is intellectually endowed, and in fact all signs are that she operates purely on principle, rather than intellect. That bothered me enough to warrant this post.

I see dumb business people, dumb lawyers, etc every day. They live traits that have nothing to do with intellect. Of ten times, they thrive simply because the find a way to fake their way through things, or simply yell louder or wear nicer suits or (fill in the blank). It is my expectation that America will actually achieve something more akin to market capitalism where talent is the primary criteria for success, not brute force, momentum or social connections.

Look around in any courtroom at the 'top' attorneys. Now ask yourself how they got there? In too many instances, it is for reasons having nothing to do with attributes which the market should value.


This looks really fun; I'm sad I missed it. And I actually like your political economy theory; its not crazy at all. You can almost see that idea and its effect in some of the EU directives for the free movement of labor and capital.

When people ask me about politics or religion I always tell them this: "I believe in the axioms of logic and the principles of natural science." I only wish reason would make a comeback, both in law and in politics. Cool post!


Thanks TJ. At the end of the day, my politics is capitalism; not the brand we have now but the kind that technology is bringing into play for the first time in history. Think how political business has been, where power and ego rule the board room. Too big to fail? We are entering the age of the little guy with the big idea.

Dan Nunley

Regarding your response to Sarah that "Ms. Palin has shown me nothing to suggest she is intellectually endowed, and in fact all signs are that she operates purely on principle, rather than intellect. That bothered me enough to warrant this post."

What is bothersome to me is that Mr. Obama has shown me nothing to suggest he is endowed with principals., and in fact all signs are that he operates purely on whatever will boost his poll numbers. I cannot understand how any intelligent, rational citizen who cares about the United States could vote for Obama. Obama is the least experienced and most unqualified presidential candidate in modern times. Obama is not a Democrat of the mold of Kennedy or even Clinton, but is a far-left radical. Obama's campaign consistently uses tactics of intimidation and thuggery. Obama has promised to dramatically increase taxes. Rogue nations around the world will not respect the lightweight Obama as they would McCain. A vote for Obama is not only a death sentence for unborn babies but a death wish for the United States.


Dan: You do raise an interesting dichotomy between principle and intellect. Since I have voted for both Republican and Democratic candidates,I think it is pretty clear that I am not driven by 'principle.' A lot of the 'earth is gonna come to an end if the other is elected' rhetoric from both sides makes the point. Principle drives people to make decisions regardless of the facts, without independent thought and often based in emotion.

Law firms and the practice of law is largely governed by 'principles' and 'ideology' rather than intellect. In many ways, our law firm is a testament to theory that using our brain to solve issues is a better form of problem solving. We recreated the practice of law from the ground up based on what 'made sense' given what we knew about technological advances, customer service models, the internet, etc.. The 'ideology' of law would have told us our model could not work on almost every issue. A closer look at the ideology revealed its idiocy. The ideology and rhetoric of law firms is that every minute must be captured on a time sheet. To bill a client 6 minutes for calling you on the phone simply creates an incentive to never call until it is an absolute emergency. This means you never hear about 99% of the problems facing your clients.

So I respect both republicans and democrats on various issues. But until our nation and economy starts thinking with our heads as opposed regurgitating canned responses, we will get the same result in Washington. Until we start to challenge the principles that we think we hold, and put our own thoughts to the Socratic test, we will simply drift through life with core beliefs built on yesterday, as opposed to tomorrow. Lawyers and Politicians need to look forward, forget everything they think they know and make decisions based on available information. But their ability to make those decisions intelligently will be based in their ability to wield intelligence and critical thought in the first place.

Thanks for your comment Dan. I appreciate your thoughts.

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