Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin

I don't usually write about politics on this blog, but I feel a need to spread this link around -- a post by an Alaskan political blogger about Sarah Palin.

She's hideously right-wing, even for a Republican, and also problematic for other reasons:

-- Would deny women the right to an abortion, even in rape cases
-- Wants creationism taught in schools
-- Is strongly homophobic
-- Supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
---- Denies scientific evidence of the polar bear's threatened habitat and shrinking population in support of the above
-- Only found out recently what the Vice President actually does.

She's also recently become involved in an ethics scandal for misusing her gubernatorial authority to try to get her ex-brother-in-law (who's involved in a custody battle with her sister) fired from his state trooper job, which is going to make for some great media-mud over the next couple of months.

Her interest is fiercely local. She said right out, when she became governer of Alaska, that she'd be supporting the interests of her home town and its area. She plans to continue that attitude if she's elected Vice President, ensuring that the "VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans." It's pretty clear she has no interest in serving the country, only her particular chunk of it, which is where her loyalty and interests will always lie. Maybe that makes for a good mayor, but it's iffy in a governor and unacceptable in a President or VP.

Her experience is minuscule. She was the mayor of a tiny town for a number of years (I've seen population figures of 5500 and 8500, but at any rate less than 10,000) and has been governor of Alaska (pop. less than 700,000) for two years. Supporters are saying her "executive experience" is much greater than Obama's; come on, my high school's student body president "governed" 2700 people, but that doesn't make him/her qualified to be the next American president. Scale and complexity matter, folks.

And make no mistake, if Mr. McCain is elected, there's an excellent chance that his Vice President will end up as President somewhere along the line. Mr. McCain is 72 and has significant health problems. The American Presidency is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet and ages its incumbents very quickly. So the question here is not only whether Ms. Palin is qualified to be Vice President, but whether she's qualified to be President. I don't think so.

The overwhelming opinion (at least among liberal bloggers and commenters) is that the Republicans are hoping that throwing a random vagina onto their ticket will win them some significant number of disappointed Clinton supporters. Considering that Ms. Palin's politics are pretty much diametrically opposed to Ms. Clinton's, I'm hoping this particular trick won't work. (Although after the last decade or so, I'm not willing to swear anything when it comes to the possible stupidity of a large block of American voters.)

If Republican advisors thought it prudent to have a woman on the ticket, there are a number of better qualified Republican women they could've chosen. The fact that they didn't, that they thought this particular Republican woman would do just as well, shows that they were more interested in her plumbing than her political strengths. It's insulting to women that the Republicans think any significant number of us will vote for a ticket with a woman on it only because we share plumbing. And it's insulting to all the citizens of the United States that Mr. McCain is willing to choose a running mate he thinks will help him get elected, without considering what this person will add to his actual administration should he make it to the White House, and that he's apparently incapable of enough contingency thinking to consider what sort of President she'd be should he pass away or be incapacitated while he's in office.

I was planning to vote for Mr. Obama anyway, but if I'd been teetering, this would've pushed me firmly onto his side.



Shauna Roberts said...

Thanks for the info, Angie. (Not that I ever contemplated voting for McCain, but it could be good for convincing people to Obama's side.)

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm torn as to whether this will hurt or help McCain. Most every one I know will consider it a weakening of McCain, but, as you say, there's no accounting for large blocks of American voters. I really don't like having someone with her particular intensity and pattern of beliefs close to the presidency.

Steve Malley said...

Gahhh. I confess I'm not terribly surprised. The Party of Darkness can be mind-blowingly, staggeringly creepy. And frighteningly good at muddying the waters while they do it.

What worries me is the possibility that the tactic might work...

Angie said...

Shauna -- you're very welcome. This is linked all over, but I had to do my bit to spread it a little further.

Charles -- exactly. Four years ago I couldn't have imagined that there'd be enough stupidity in the American voting public to give Dubya another term, but here we are, so I'm not making any bets here. I'm just hoping very hard, and posting the occasional blog article. [wry smile]

And seriously, even if she weren't a radical religious conservative, the point about her being that strongly focused on Alaska, and actually on a pretty small chunk of Alaska, in her interests and loyalties would disqualify her to me. The President needs to serve everyone in the country, and also be able to perceive and handle the huge influence the US has throughout the world. If Ms. Palin's primary interest is always going to be her state and her little town, I can't imagine her doing any kind of decent job as leader of the free world. :/

Steve -- that's exactly my worry, that the Republican spinners will find some way of making all this crap sound plausible, and even desirable. [headdesk]


Bernita said...

"there's an excellent chance that his Vice President will end up as President somewhere along the line."
She makes me think of Battlestar Galactia.
Not in a good way.

Angie said...

Bernita -- I haven't watched the new BG series, but I think I get the sentiment. [wry smile]


Anonymous said...

I had a powerful "Take that! Our token female running mate trumps your non-Caucasian candidate!" vibe, but I'm just a skosh cynical politically.

Angie said...

Kerry -- yeah, that's pretty much what I've gotten too.

There's also a hint of picking up the voters who might like some change, but can't quite deal with a Black candidate. Throwing a woman onto the Republican ticket lets voters who are a bit too racist to quite bring themselves to vote for Mr. Obama tell themselves that they are being all radical and open-minded by voting for a (White) woman. Which is also a pretty despicable train of thought, but there you go. :/