Tag Archives: election

The Undefeated: a review

I saw a rough cut of The Undefeated, the much-discussed “Palin documentary,” at RightOnline last month. I skipped the first part—I was socializing!—with the montage of insults. When I walked into the screening they were already talking about her early days in the Alaska state government.

If you’ve read Going Rogue, you would already know most of the facts presented in the show. If you get your news from the “Lamestream Media,” you would hear the facts presented with what you would think is “spin.” If you get your news from The Daily Show, you probably won’t be interested in seeing this movie anyway, and you would probably have a fixed, firm belief about Mrs. Palin and this movie probably won’t do it for you (unless you want to do a “Daily Show Viewer goes to the zoo” feature, then I hate to burst your bubble but that’s been done by The Atlantic).

What I like about the film: it’s a fair treatment of Mrs. Palin’s record in the Alaska state government, in that it cuts through the negative spin added by the media’s coverage of her time back then. She’s been spun as a vindictive, spitful betch—it’s “bitch,” but you just have to inflect and pronounce it a certain way to empasize the frivolty of those saying so—who uses bipartisan methods to “get back” at her “enemies.” Or maybe she was just doing her job and doing what she believed she was elected for. You know? Because that’s what government officials do. (Heck, consider our president now, who continues to believe he has a mandate despite the results of the 2010 elections, which in his mind doesn’t even seem to be a signal for him to change course.) It skips over a lot of details that we’d consider “recent memory,” such as the 2008 election.

The participation of Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Mark Levin and Sonnie Johnson added a very passionate, spirited presentation in addition to the voice over narration.

What I dislike about the film: man, is the pacing languid. A viewer’s time on film is currency, and this one spends it like Obama does our money. I have heard that the theatrical release has addressed this isssue, so I won’t beat it up for that.

The tone of correcting the record in the first two thirds of the film gives way to a  bit of “woe is me” in the final acts. This was unncessary. This was the documentarian’s chance to end on a high note; and the title may be The Undefeated but the wrapup made me feel just a little beaten down.

The participation of Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Mark Levin and Sonnie Johnson had one drawback. With the exception of Sonnie Johnson, whose testimonial style was relaxed and steadfast, the other three seemed a little too wound up for camera. I understand that this is serious business and that yes, we should be wound up with the way the media has treated Palin, but, the problem with having people do this on screen for you is that you no longer feel the need to.

In the film, A Time To Kill, Matthew McConaughey’s character definitely won his defense case by placing the jurors in the shoes of Samuel L. Jackson’s character. It roused the attention of everyone in the courtroom in what was considered a hopeless case. Without the lawyer preaching to the jury how they should feel and decide, he gave them every reason to decide in his client’s favor, and they did.

It’s an odd, odd cinematic paradox: if the characters you are watching are already feeling an emotion on your behalf, you no longer feel emotions for them or whoever it is you’re supposed to feel for.

Takeaways: this isn’t “propaganda” so much as it is “my side of the story.” It will correct the record for viewers who think they know about Palin, but for those who believe they already know everything there is to know, well. There’s no shaking that.

Finally, while I support the filmmaker’s commercial efforts, if they want this message out to as many people as possible, they need to be far more lax with copyright enforcement. I don’t know if any segments have been leaked yet, much less the whole movie, but Conservative treatment of the media has to be through disintermediation and circumvention. Perhaps after a while, maybe the documentarian himself should release this in 10-minute segments, for free, on YouTube. Maybe 30-minute chunks on Vimeo. Maybe seed this film across multiple torrent trackers. I don’t know. I know it’s sold out in Texas, but what about everywhere else, where there aren’t that many supporters but perhaps enough open minds to make a difference?

And lastly, The Undefeated should serve as a warning to all Conservatives. We can not let the media dictate the narrative. Many players bungled her rollout, even she herself. But we know better now. I am not a fan of cultish defenses of a candidate, but neither do I believe that we should merely let the media present “facts” about someone, unchallenged.

Feeding the hand that bit her: Palin endorses Carly

Ick. Just ick, all over.

In my endorsement of Chuck DeVore over Carly Fiorina I cited very specific reasons why I prefer DeVore and why I absolutely dislike Carly Fiorina. A lot of people have been calling her a RINO as if that were a disqualification in a state as liberal as California ferChrissakes. I don’t care if she is. I don’t care if she’s “not conservative enough.”

I care because she is incompetent and made horrible decisions as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, to the detriment of the company, its employers and its stockholders.

I dislike Carly because she keeps on talking up her CEO chops as if merely being a CEO made you a successful CEO.

What about Mme. Palin’s endorsement? Marc Ambinder writes:

Well, it’s kind of simple. DeVore is almost certainly going to lose. And more self-identified Tea Partiers back Fiorina, despite what one might assume from looking at the race. Fiorina’s spending-cuts message resonates among these voters.

Here’s what I think: Despite the abysmal opinion Carly has of Mme. Palin, Mme. Palin endorsed her to show she is the bigger woman. It’s a nice show of grace, and with a wink and a nod, a signal to scratch each other’s backs in the future.

This is stereotypical, passive-aggressive inter-woman politics at its worst. Mme. Palin might just be able to help Carly get to the Senate, but Carly is under no obligation to return any favors. What would Mme. Palin do from her position as private citizen? Once Fiorina is in office, the cold and calculating witch who almost took HP down in flames with her is under no obligation whatsoever to help her out. “Neener neener, I’m in office.”

Ousting Boxer is the political equivalent of the charge of the Light Brigade. It requires bold action from a diametrically opposed force, and that force is Chuck DeVore, not this Carly-thing. The primaries are coming soon. The most I will do to support a Fiorina candidacy is to shut myself up on this matter after today.

My endorsement of Devore against Fiorina

California is across the country from Maryland, but I remain interested in the US Senate seat which Barbara Boxer has to defend in 2010. Today’s Senate roster makes every seat important. With attitudes towards the current Congress approaching the all-time lows of late of 2008, no seat is safe. Barbara Boxer’s ratings are very low, and polling has shown her seat to be vulnerable. The Republicans know of this, and primary season starts, two names are coming through the noise: Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and for CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina. I am endorsing DeVore for the candidacy, and obviously the seat. Continue reading My endorsement of Devore against Fiorina