Saturday, August 30, 2008
The All American Summarizing Proust Contest
The name of McCain's VP pick reminded me of Monty Python's Michael Palin, so I went with this title for my post discussing the introduction of Sarah Palin. For those of you who are familiar with Monty Python, the punch line of this sketch explains why McCain and his secret cabal of handlers made this choice. If you are not familiar, you can watch on You Tube or just read the script, scroll down and check out the last line. I am not publishing it directly because my mom reads my blog.
McCain and his handlers went with this stunt pick to cut into the 24 hour news cycle that would otherwise have been dominated by reaction to Obama's speech, which was watched by more than 38,000,000 people. He couldn't trot out Tim Pawlenty and get any splash at all, so instead, McCain, whose advisors really seem to think this is about celebrity, bring out the cute girl. I turned on C-SPAN just before the announcement and saw the Wright State cheerleaders trying to pump up the little crowd by chanting "We love McCain! We love McCain!" This is the true value of women in the Republican world view.
Besides smacking of desperation, there is more than a little cruelty in making this move. This woman and her family are about to be thrown into a meat grinder unlike any other in the known world. Forget ideas about a left wing or right wing press. The press loves controversy and newness much more than they love any ideology, and Sarah Palin gives them both. After her political views on abortion and the teaching of creationism and climate change having no human cause are made fully public, the next thing the press will go after is her family life. She had a baby in April. Due to genetic testing, she knew before the boy was born that he has Down's syndrome. The pro-life crowd cheered her because she did not have an abortion. She was back at work three days after the birth.
This poor little kid is a metaphor for Republican policy. Before he knows anything other than some nipples give milk, he gets to learn the lesson of Republicanism. You're on your own, kid. Mommy has bigger fish to fry. Right to life is an absolute. Quality of life... that's negotiable and you don't have any cards to play.
McCain had more experienced women he could have put on the ticket, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Christine Todd Whitman to name just two. But instead we get the oldest presidential hopeful in American history, a multiple cancer survivor with many other health problems related to his grueling military experience, with a running mate totally unready to fulfill the duties of president at one of the most difficult times in our history. This show of horrible judgment is based on the idea that she will help with both the PUMA vote and the Raw Meat Republican vote.
I wrote "secret cabal of handlers" because I'm not even sure who really made this decision. McCain met with this woman either once or twice, depending on the news source. Lindsey Graham, the Log Closet Republican in McCain's inner circle, admitted he had only spoken to her on the phone. McCain has some Karl Rove clone, or maybe Rove himself, pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Whoever this supreme cynic is, that person didn't do the political math very well. Maybe, just maybe, there is a female voting bloc who will switch from voting Democrat to support their gender instead of their favorite issues, because Ms. Palin will disagree with anyone who still votes Democrat all the way down the line. The downside is this. McCain now loses a large chunk of the traditional family vote, which he had wrapped up. A lot of men and women who will agree with Palin politically will also believe that women should submit to their husbands and instead of running around the country trying to gain a job she is not qualified for, she should be home taking care of that helpless little baby, barely one hundred days old. These people will not vote for Obama, but they very well might stay home and in an election like this, that is something McCain cannot afford.
It's certainly not for the best for little Trig Palin, but it might be for the best for this country, because it will be clear to many that McCain and his ridiculously poor judgment are something this country cannot afford.