Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who'd have thought McCain's VP choice would Palin comparison to Obama's

So the news is out... John McCain shocked the political cognoscenti and gave a hot-yet-chaste wet mouth kiss to the Religious Right and the NRA with his dramatic selection of first-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his choice to be a heartbeat away from the power to invoke thermonuclear holocaust.


Now that's "maverick".

Or you could call it, "whacked".

Seems this former Miss Congeniality hates both abortion AND birth control, so despite having four children already and being in her early forties, when the risk of birth defects markedly increases, she conceived and bore a fifth child, who tragically is affected by Downs Syndrome.

Even though she found out that the child would be so affected in her fourth month of pregnancy, she decided to bring the pregnancy to term, which has earned her the adoration of the anti-abortion-rights crowd. As Governor, how much time does she actually spend with this infant? Sounds like either the state's business or the child is being neglected. Unless, that is, she uses the Socialist (at least according to most right-wingers) practice of "day care".

Now don't get me wrong. I believe that bringing a child to term, no matter what pre-screening tests indicate, is a completely noble and admirable choice. I don't fault her for that, just for her devout belief that nobody should actually HAVE that choice, at least not without grave hazards to one's body and personal freedom.

Aside from her former-beauty-queen good looks, she brings almost nothing to the table for McCain among the non-evangelical voters of the country. All but the most delusional Hillary supporters will see through this as craven and desperate pandering. Do the Repubs think that women are so blind that they cannot make distinctions beyond the chromosomal level? It didn't work for Mondale / Ferraro, and it won't work for McCain / Palin. It's actually oddly reminiscent of 1984. Mondale, sensing he was about to be run over by a Mac truck called Reagan's re-election, made a desperate move by nominating Ferraro in an attempt to rally women (especially women activists) to his cause. The base was excited. The feminists, and progressive men (myself included), got all fired up and worked hard to elect the ticket.

But it was far to little to counter the larger trends. Mondale didn't even carry Massachusetts, which was the only state to reject Nixon in 1972.

The Republican squawk machine is desperately working to counter the shock and dismay of the rank-and-file moderates and intellectuals in the party by portraying her as an "experienced executive" and the like. The religious right and other litmus-test voters are newly energized by this selection of a "true believer", but those aren't the people McCain needs. Grumble or not, they were voting for him anyway. Now they'll donate more money or hold a sign where they wouldn't before but it won't be enough. US Presidential elections are always won on the margins, and Obama and the Democrats made great inroads this past week during their excellently-executed Convention. A poll taken by USA Today after the Palin announcement found that her choice had little impact on the already-decided, but a strong NEGATIVE impact amongst the UNDECIDED.

This is fatal for McCain. Obama may take the country by storm now.

His selection of the well-respected, articulate, and experienced-without-being-ruined Joe Biden along with his speech before 80,000 people in person and 38 million on TV (and millions more eventually via web video) solidified his standing as a leader ready to assume the highest office in the land. McCain's choice of a political neophyte (whatever her accomplishments) that he'd met only once and clearly hadn't vetted all that hard, solidifies, at least in my view, that he's a man of rash decisions and glib convictions, who would pander to the hard core right wing despite his "maverick" reputation, which was gained by OPPOSING the hard core right wing.

For this more than anything else, his defeat in November will be well deserved.

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