Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Political ranting ahead

So fresh off my feeling of hopefullness last week, I was brought down by the whole Sarah Palin debacle. I've been struggling to put into words ever since her selection was announced just why it bothers me so much, because it really does.

I can't find one thing in specific that gets to me; rather, I have a list.

1. Her selection is political pandering, pure and simple. McCain and Rs picked her because she is pro-life, conservative, pro NRA, and Christian. The Christian right hasn't been a big fan of McCain, and Palin shores up his religious credentials.

It's also pandering, in a horribly misguided way, to women. And, frankly, I find it insulting that the Rs believe I'm going to change parties just because they've picked a woman even though she stands for everything I find repellant about the extreme right.

I know the Rs were hoping to pull Hillary's supporters over, but I can't see that working. I have friends who support Hillary and who are plenty ticked that she didn't get the nomination, but not one of them - NOT ONE - is going to vote for McCain just because he picked a woman.

2. She has no experience, at least not the kind necessary for someone who is one heartbeat away from the presidency. Being the mayor of a small town and then governor for two years is not enough to qualify someone. And if I hear one more R mouthpiece say that she has foreign affairs experience because Alaska is next to both Russia and Canada, I'm going to scream. It's not like the Russians have been threatening to cross the Bering Strait and invade. And the Canadians are too polite to cross the border without permission. Then there's the fact that the current occupant's only leadership experience was being governor, and look where that got us.

It's also getting painful to watch the R mouthpieces try to defend Palin and her credentials. They won't deviate from their talking points to actually answer a question. And in the rare instances when they do, their answers are such baldfaced lies that I wince - like today when Guiliani said he believes Palin is qualified to handle an event like 9/11. I nearly barfed up my coffee at that one. There's also a clip on You Tube of Campbell Brown of CNN beating up one of the many Tuckers who is on McCain's staff over his inability to give a clear answer on any decision Palin made regarding the Alaska National Guard.

The party's claims that her experience as small-town mayor and governor make her more qualified that Obama are laughable. One commentator pointed out that by Rs' standards, she's actually more qualified than McCain to lead.

Palin's record of being a maverick and standing up against the status quo in Alaska also seems to be overblown. She was for the "bridge to nowhere" before she was against it, and even though she rails against earmarks, she paid a lobbying firm hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure millions in earmarks for Alaska.

3. I think choosing such an unqualified candidate has set back the cause. She wasn't picked because of her experience or qualifications but because she's a Christian woman. While I don't agree with their politics, there are plenty of women in the Republican party who would have made far better candidates. If McCain had picked Kay Bailey or Christine Whitman or Olympia Snowe, I would have applauded his choice to put a woman on the ticket, even if I had no intention of voting for her.

4. Making the choice to have a baby who has Down's syndrome is not limited to pro-choice, evangelical, Republican women. I'm tired of hearing about heroic Palin is and how she walks the walk just because she chose to not have an abortion. I'm about as pro-choice as they come, and I'm not religious, but if I had been in the same situation, I would have had the baby too. That's why B and I have never had any of the pre-natal screening the doctors have tried to push on us: finding out that something was wrong with the baby wouldn't change our minds about having it.

5. I feel awful for the daughter. I can't imagine being 17 and pregnant and having everyone in the country sitting in judgment of my actions. I can't believe the Palins put their daughter in the position of having to go through this in public, and I do hold both parents accountable. They had to have known what would happen when the news broke, and they had to have known it would.

Plus there's the whole hypocrisy part of the story. If the Obamas had a 17-year-old pregnant daughter, you know darn well the religious right would be casting aspersions on the Obamas' parenting skills and family values. Instead, we're supposed to congratulate Bristol on her choice not to have an abortion and on her family's support.

However, if McCain and Palin have their way, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and other 17-year-old girls who don't have the same support Bristol does will have no choice other than have the baby or give it up for adoption. Given that both McCain and Palin support abstinence only sex education, there will be more pregnant teenagers.

Plus, news broke today that as governor, Palin used her line-item veto power to cut 20% from the budget of an organization that offers housing and job training services to teen mothers. To me, this sends the message that Governor Palin doesn't believe teen mothers who aren't her daughter are worthy of support and assistance.

6. How do Obama and Biden deal with her? If they go after her at all, they'll be accused of being sexist and beating up on a woman. Her family life is off-limits, which means the Ds can't talk about her pro-life or religious leanings without being accused of bringing her daughter into it.


So there's my list, for now. I'm sure I'll find other things that bother me. I have no intention of watching Palin's speech tonight; I think it would send my blood pressure through the roof. At the very least, I'd end up shouting at the television, and it's never a good thing when I start doing that. I think I'll watch Project Runway instead.

I've now seen clips and read excerpts from her speech, and it seems the McCain camp did a good job of getting her ready. I, however, found her shrill and her speech sneering and insulting. Instead of talking about what she and McCain would do for the country or about her actual accomplishments in Alaska - other than selling the state's jet - she spent her time running down Obama and Biden. I know she got everyone at the convention worked up, but I truly hope that's as far as her influence goes.


The Kretzings said...

Sic 'em, Campbell Brown!

Memarie Lane said...

I'm seeing a lot of conservative women questioning whether they can support someone who brags about not taking any maternity leave and such.

The downs syndrome thing bugs me because she's a woman with nearly unlimited resources. Of course she can have a down's syndrome baby, she can afford on a variety of levels to deal with the situation. If I had such a child I would have absolutely NO way to care for it and would likely have to turn it over to the state. I don't think it's smart to guilt-trip women who would choose abortion in a situation like that as the GOP seems to be doing. They don't want to pay for social services, but they want women to give birth to severely disabled children they can't care for.

O'Pine said...

I watched the first 15 minutes of the speech and I was HORRIFIED. She's like some mean old lady next door screaming at the kids to "get off her lawn."

And selling the jet? Honey you're pandering to the wrong party. You're a Republican, the party of the private jet. it's the Democrats who would have cheered that one.

As a former employee of a statewide elected official, I can also affirm that giving up your most efficient means of reaching your constituency is NOT a prudent fiscal move.

I hate her. I hate her and her failed belief system. Abstinence only? Didn't exactly work on your daughter, did it? So, how do you expect it to work on others.

Practice what you preach, Gov. Harpy.

runnerdude said...

Unfortunately, Palin is more suitable for the Jerry Springer show than for the position of VP.
As for her qualifications - she was elected mayor of Wasilla with 650 votes. Can you imagine her stepping into the Presidency if something happened to McCain?

Becca said...

*raises fist in solidarity*

I'm as staunchly independent as can be. I both agree and disagree equally with both the Republicans and the Democrats.

But I agree totally with your whole post.

Shelly said...

I agree with all your points. I did listen to her speech. I found her to be quite smug and combative for someone with virtually no qualifications. It is astounding that they would let her accuse Obama of being inexperienced.

The thing that bothers me most is the "family values" party praising this woman who will leave her family, including an infant child, for extended periods of time to travel across the country for this campaign. For fear of sounding sexist, a mother belongs with her children, unless there is no viable alternative. (I am not talking about mothers who work outside the home. I am a mother who works outside the home. But I am with my child every day and every night.)

Yuck! I could go on and on and on.

Anonymous said...

My take on it all boils down to a pretty simple, if unpleasant, point. Both McCain and Obama, for different reasons, stand a higher-than-negligible chance of not surviving a term in office. McCain because cancer does, indeed, strike more than once, and eventually a little dab'll do ya. And Obama because for all our advancedness and hope, we still live in a country of rednecks with small minds and big guns.

So we need a VP who is able to step up. And between the hot librarian and the stodgy experienced white guy... well, sorry, Ms. Palin, but you'll have to take your hate speeches elsewhere. Your small-mindedness won't earn us any bonus points in the rest of the world, so please return to Alaska and leave the contiguous 48 alone.

Barb said...

Based on the population of Alaska, (500,000) that makes her about as qualified as the mayor of WACO to run our country.

And she's running down OBAMA'S srvice record?

Leave it to the GOP to pick a candidate who makes Dan Quayle look qualified.

Amanda said...

I'm not at all religious, but I read the best comment on a blog today:

"Mrs. Palin needs to be reminded that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor."