Hmm, where do I begin as it relates to my opinion of the McCain / Palin ticket without a trip to the emergency room for severe ‘life-threatening’ carpal tunnel? On my show this week (Sept 8 – 15), I discussed this topic ad naseum and judging from the bandwidth for my program being exceeded multiple times and the stats relating to podcast versions of the show being downloaded, there is an obvious interest in what that opinion is as it relates to a woman who was recently thrust onto the National scene…yet, no one had ever heard of her. I will start with the basics and see where this blog takes me…basically my way of saying that as I type, I generally become possessed with the fervor of a novelist, not unlike my tangents on the program. But I digress…
Much of my opinion / ire will relate to the obvious hypocrisy contained within the choice of Palin, as well as the narrative that she and John McCain are evidently making up along the way, regardless of past statements and actions that are a matter of public record. Shall we begin?
Name: Sarah Palin
Experience: 4 years city council, 7 years Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. 1.5 years as Governor of Alaska
Education: Bachelors in Sports Journalism
Family: 5 children
Claim to Fame: Runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant (1988)
Favorite Food: Mooseburgers
First off, let’s get the obvious out of the way. For a campaign and party that has been criticizing the age and “inexperience” of Barack Obama…so, to “counter” that arguement they choose someone who is younger and less experienced (you will see a strong hypocritical streak in this blog). Obama is older than Bill Clinton was when he won the Presidency, therefore age is not the issue in my opinion…HOWEVER, when you spend your entire campaign talking about the ‘readiness of your opponent to lead’ due to experience (or “lack thereof”), yet pick someone younger as the running mate to a man who is 73 years old and would be the oldest person ever elected to the Presidency, you begin to easily pick apart the politics of the decision. Secondly, you see the transparency of those politics through the patronizing choice of a woman in order to try to secure disenfranchised Hillary supporters, in addition to trying desperately to shake things up in your campaign to give the impression of a ‘change’ ticket, a sense of which has been monopolized and wholly owned by the Obama campaign.
You see, the GOP sees the same numbers that I look at, which is that Democratic voter registration is much higher than that of Republication registered voters…in the simplest terms, there are more registered Dems than there are GOP. If the election were held tomorrow based strictly on party lines: Dems win. Therefore you look to that delicious middle ground of Independents like myself (and in the McCain camps mind), potentially millions of female Clinton supporters who would be willing to vote against their own interests, thereby cutting off their own nose to spite their face, to vote for McCain out of principle and pride. Now, if Obama has the advantage with most Independents (which he does)…then you do the math. The gimmick that McCain and company are trying to pull off is assuming that women, evidently because they have a uterus and ovaries in common, will rush out to vote for ANY woman and that their support of Clinton had NOTHING to do with her as a candidate, her stance on healthcare and women’s choice, the economy, education etc…no, no, no…you see, John assumes that since you all menstruate, you will vote against your own principles and simply vote based on gender. Palin does nothing with Independents, she simply energizes an unenergetic conservative base. The other humorous narrative that I am seeing is that the GOP is acting as though, due to their choice of Palin, that they are more progressive than the DEM’s who “refused” (sexist!) to put Hillary on the Obama ticket (suddenly the GOP are ‘fans’ of Hillary: pls see: the 90’s). What they fail to recognize is that they are over 20 years late, since DEM’s added a woman to the National ticket back in 1984 with Mondale / Ferraro…whereas the GOP has never added anything other than old white men.
But I am getting off topic. So, let’s look at the “experience” that McCain surrogates are touting as “perfect for the ticket”, “ready to lead” and “the BEST choice for running mate”. The argument is that since Palin has ‘executive’ experience, she is more qualified to be VP and potentially one breath from the Presidency of a 73 year old man and of the most powerful nation in the World. Let’s start with her “executive” experience.
Wasilla, Alaska – Population 7,025 people
Gov. of Alaska (less than 2 years)
Right to Life: Gov. Palin is Pro-Life and only believes in the right to an abortion in the case of the health of the Mother. Therefore, according to Palin, rape and incest does not count and therefore an abortion should be illegal if you were violently sexually assaulted or your Uncle Bob snuck into your room one night…because it is ‘life’…regardless of the violence and circumstances that brought it about and you should have that baby and love it as a reminder of how it came to be…against your choice. The hypocrisy? Glad you asked! Her 17 year old daughter (Bristol) is 5 months pregnant. When rumors circulated that Palin’s 5 month old son with Down’s Syndrome was actually that of her daughters and Mom was pretending to have had the child to protect her daughter, Palin had to admit that it was impossible, since her unwed daughter was already 5 months pregnant. Now, I could personally care less about her daughter being unwed, pregnant or 17…however I do care about the hypocrisy. When asked about it, Palin said that it was a “personal family matter” and that it was “Bristol’s choice” to keep the baby. Therefore her own daughter has the ‘choice’, but for all other women around the country she wishes to legislate against allowing you to have the same choice afforded her own daughter. She wishes to repeal Roe Vs. Wade that gave her daughter that ‘choice’ in a ‘personal family matter’. The question I would have asked is, “Are you making your daughter keep the baby due to your stance on the issue”, forcing her to say no and that it was her daughter’s choice…my follow up would be, “What if she chose to have an abortion? Would you disown her or love her less…perhaps wish that she be taken to jail for doing so, which is where you would like other women who choose abortion to be sent?” The point is, her own daughter evidently received a choice…but Palin wishes to remove your right to do the same. The father of the baby (Levi) was quoted on his myspace profile calling himself, “A fucking redneck. I like to hang with the boys and shoot shit. Fuck with me and I’ll fuck you up” and under his status he had listed, “I don’t want kids”. The boy now gets a nice shotgun wedding thanks to his girlfriend’s Mom running for VP. By the way, a simple question: Could you imagine if OBAMA had a 17 year old unwed pregnant daughter whose father (instead of being a ‘fucking redneck’) was a ‘thug’? Election over. Just more hypocrisy to chew on.
Abstinence Training: Palin does not believe in sex education and teaching teenagers, if they do have sex, how to protect themselves. Please see “Palin Household” for the effectiveness of Palin’s abstinence training of her own daughter….how did that work out?
Creationism / Intelligent Design: Palin believes in the teaching of Creationism / Intelligent Design in publicly funded schools. Therefore, your tax dollars will go towards the teaching from a ‘textbook’ (“Of Panda’s and People”) that says dinosaurs and people lived on the planet at the same time…and evidently that Jesus rode a dinosaur to church. It also states that all dinosaurs were herbivores (not carnivores). Your tax dollars will go toward an intellectually and scientifically dishonest education, sending our children into the World believing that we were created from ‘dirt, mud and divine breath’ and that we co-populated the planet with dinosaurs. Seriously, I’m not kidding, it says that. Want your kids to learn about imaginary friends that walked on water, lived in the belly of a whale, parted a sea, turned water into wine and a staff into a snake? Then pay to send them to private school and they can learn all about speaking in tongues and holding snakes. But NOT federally funded education. Want to have a Christian elective class after school that requires no government funding (like Chess club)? I am perfectly fine with that…or simply teach your beliefs at home. Before I get a comment about Evolution as ‘theory’, you must first show me the same burden of proof, debate, testing, transitional fossils etc that Natural Selection has provided, but comparable to your belief that “the World was created in 6 days and the planet is only 6,000 years old”. Creationism is not a SCIENCE it is a belief and a test of faith…and you are being intellectually dishonest to say otherwise. Palin also wants mandatory school prayer. Even though this country was founded by those seeking to escape religious persecution, Palin wishes to essentially make Christianity our national religion. However, the hitch is that our Founding Fathers, in ensuring Freedom of Religion and that you are free to worship as you please, then the solution was that there can be NO national religion. If you are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist. Zoroastonist, Agnostic, Atheist or simply are taught faith in the privacy of your own home by your parents (where it should be)…too bad, school prayer in homeroom kids! The beliefs and ideology of one group will be forced upon your children.
Foreign Policy: According to Cindy McCain and other campaign surrogates, Palin has foreign policy because, “Alaska is close to Russia”…I’m sorry, WHAT?! Did I miss a Russian immigration problem or invasion of Alaska? Really? Geographic proximity makes her an expert, even though she has had no direct dealings with Putin or Medvedev? Does that make Gov Crist (Fla) an expert on Cuba, which is only 90 miles south of Florida? Also, because she is, “A mother of 5, you know she can handle World leaders”….cute line, really it is…buuuuuut IT DOESN’T MEAN A FUCKING THING! Is she going to put Kim Jong IL in timeout? Will she take away Hugo Chavez’ toys? Tell Ahmadinejad that he can’t play with his PS3? Wipe the snot off of Gordon Brown’s nose? Pack a lunch (with pudding Snakpak) for Stephen Harper? I understand that’s a cute line for Mom’s and all…but guess what? My Mom had 4 kids, I would never use that as reasoning for allowing her to negotiate a deal to halt Iran’s nuclear weapon’s program. The GOP…digging at the bottom of the barrel for a choice that is making them backtrack on all their attacks on Obama…hypocrisy. <--- there's that word again. By the way, I am sure that a degree is Sports Journalism will come in handy in a crisis. Also, if she is so ready to be President (should something happen to McCain on Day 1)...why won't they let her do any interviews? Hmmm, would that be because she doesn't know enough about the issues and is going through a crash course before being allowed to answer questions? ...I think so. Also, months ago when Palin was asked about the Vice Presidency, she responded by saying she would "first need to know what the VP does before she could consider it"...charming. Patriotism: Ah yes, my favorite, “I love my country more than you cause I wear a .99 cent flag pin” debate. I know Palin is a gun touting, moose hunting, hockey mom…however. You see, Palin’s husband was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party. Now, as much as I would like to say that “Independence” means the same as “Independents“…in this case, her husband (and speculation that Palin herself) were members of a party that wanted to secede from the United States and become a country of their own, leaving us with 49 states, not 50. In fact, this year (June, 2008), Palin welcomed and addressed the Alaska Independence Party as Governor, by saying, “I am delighted to welcome you, Alaska Independence Party…keep up the good work”. Now this is an organization whose head of the party is quoted as saying, “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred of the US Government”. Obama had to deal with the Rev Wright scandal until he gave one of the best speeches on race and had to respond to attacks that he was “unpatriotic” for going to his church. Palin “is delighted to welcome” the AIP and tells them “to keep up the good work”…yet, she’s still considered Patriotic? More hypocrisy to chew on.
Censorship: During her “illustrious” time in Alaskan politics, Palin wanted to censor and remove books from the local public library and even went so far as to try to get the librarian fired who refused to remove the books from the shelves. Nazism anyone? For someone that does a show that enjoys his freedom of speech, this one scares me a little. I don’t force people to share my world view, I don’t expect my potential leaders to do the same…not in a society where my free speech is protected and guaranteed.
Corruption: Palin is under investigation for using her office to bring pressure to bear on the firing of her sisters husband (who was a state trooper), of which her sister and her husband were embroiled in a heated custody battle. Palin is described as being “vindictive” and “petty”. Good job John, picking someone who may be indicted before November. If true, Palin has exhibited a willingness to abuse power, something we have seen for the last 8 years. Also, Palin was billing the people of Alaska a $60 a day per diem for living in her own house.
Lies & Spending: “I said thanks, but no thanks to that Bridge to Nowhere”…a line she recycles and repeats from her acceptance speech to show she is a fiscal conservative and not influenced by lobbyists, or accepting federally earmarked money for wasteful spending of our tax dollars. This is referring to the $400 million dollar pork project for a bridge to an island in Alaska with 50 inhabitants. It was to be longer than the Golden Gate Bridge and taller than the Brooklyn Bridge…for 50 inhabitants. Did I say that correctly? $400 MILLION for 50 inhabitants. Turns out, she was “for it before she was against it”. She rallied for and supported it in her gubernatorial race, said it was a good idea and did nothing to stop it….until it became National news, a scandal and example of wasteful spending, then she said she was against it. But guess what? SHE NEVER RETURNED THE MONEY. $300 Million was kept and “allocated to other projects”. Stop repeating that horeshit of a line Sarah…
Other: Husband arrested for a DUI. We are being fed the line that Palin can be the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military because, “She was Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard”, as though she puts on a uniform and leads them to battle. You have to declare a state of emergency for the Federal Government to deploy the National Guard, the Governor only determines how they will be used in their state during that emergency…they don’t fire on our citizens nor use laser guided bombs to win the war in the streets of Juno…but I have to say that I love the line, since we are supposed to believe that she commands them in battle.
So yes, given all of these facts, I think she is PERFECT to be a heartbeat away from a 73 year old President on Day 1. The fact of the matter is that John “The Maverick, did I mention I was a P.O.W” McCain did not have the balls to pick one of the two men he actually wanted, Joe Liebermann or Tom Ridge, because their pro-choice stances would hurt them with evangelicals. Therefore, in an example of his ‘judgment, he cow-towed to his party and picked a Mooseburger eating, potentially under indictment, “women will vote for her only because she has a vagina”, Governor of a STATE with over 4x fewer people than the CITY I live in, sports journalist, lying, condescending and arrogant person who will get eaten alive once the media starts reporting her record. Everyday, more and more information comes out about this women as reporters converge on Alaska and weed through her record trying to find a story. If this much crap has come out within the first week, imagine what some real digging will bring up that the McCain campaign obviously did not have time to propoerly vet before offering her the job. She is new and was a surprise, therefore the media did not research her background earlier, since her name was never floated around as a posibility…they are doing that now and I would not be surprised by additional bomb shells emerging as every media outlet combs through her entire life.
The vetting process was so rushed, that other than a handshake in February, McCain had never met her or had a conversation with her until the day before he offered her the job…and we are supposed to trust your judgment? You obviously chose someone to get you through the next 8 weeks, not the next 8 years, should you (not if I have anything to do with it) win. No one who worked with Palin in the Governors office or when she was mayor was interviewed and all were shocked…when you vet someone for VP, you go all the way back to their high school sweethearts just to find out if he tried to ‘stick it in your butt’…just in case it would come up in an election…so to not interview her colleagues and staff was an example of how last minute this pick was. It showed, yet again, how McCain does not get it and has completely checked out. Sure, evangelicals and Pro-Lifers will love her, but you already had their votes John. The Independents that you need will move towards Obama once they learn of her radical ideas, hypocrisy and record. By the way, I think it’s time for her to give another speech than the EXACT same one she gave (that was written by McCain’s staff) during her acceptance speech…do you just pull the string attached to her back and she just repeats it until the string runs out? Let’s get her in front of a real interviewer and see how well she can memorize those flash cards that your staff are going over with her in a rush to be ready for the debate with Joe Biden…
For those of you concerned about the close polls, don’t be. I see polls almost everyday and the one thing that is not reflected are cell phone users. Polling is done by calling landlines, of which your number is publicly available. This is the old way of doing things and does not reflect the millions of people between the ages of 18 – 35 that only use a cell phone as their primary phone. Pollsters cannot call you on your cell phone due to your being charged minutes for incoming calls, which does not occur on a landline. I am 33 and have not had a landline since college, my cell phone is my ONLY phone and has been for over a decade. Now think of how many other people you know where that is also the case. Older voters tend to still have landlines and older voters tend towards McCain. Now, if Obama has huge support with the youth vote and it is safe to assume that most of them only have a cell phone…well, you see where I am going with this as it relates to the accuracy of polls.
One other thing, you are no longer allowed to make the argument of sexism, when you are also permitted to use lines about how motherhood somehow prepares you for leading the free World. You can’t selectively pick the parts of being a woman that help you in the polls, but throw an tantrum if the other side criticizes it. If you make being a woman an argument for being prepared to lead, yet you want to be treated the same as a man, you therefore give up the right to complain when that assertion is questioned. Obama should immediately send Hillary out to counter and draw a distinction between why 18 million people voted for her, Hillary…and not just because of her gender.
I have written more than enough, but believe it or not, I still have more to say on this pick and did so on my show. If you want more information on my opinion and additional commentary, tune into my program this week (Sept 8 – 15), you can do so by going to http://www.stimulatedboredom.com . If you are reading this after the show has been changed out, you can listen to or download the segments using the ‘Archive / Download’ page on the website. The titles of the segments are, “McCain / Mooseburger ’08” and “The Patronization of Palin”.
I wish I could keep writing (possessed!) but I fear many of you have not even made this far down, let alone reading even more. 🙂 Please tune in to the show if you want the full effect of my feelings on this topic!