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.


FranIAm said...

That is some good 'splainin 'bout Palin... which barely rhymes but... whatever.

Yes - why not Kay? Or Christie? It is amazing to me. What were they thinking? They had to be thinking something... right?

I am sure you will see DCap's Eagleton post, which is a similar tale of unvetted selections.

That however was back in the days of 2 tin cans and a string, long before the intertubes changed everything.

Matty Boy said...

Hey, Fran. I read all my blog buddies before posting this, just to make sure I was adding something to the mix. I was the first with the Python reference and to be honest, I found the best Python reference.

Finding the best Python reference is kind of like quoting the best fitting scripture passage, only for nerds.

As for "What are they thinking?", I think we are looking at the second string of Republican party operatives, and it's pretty weak. After Rove and company did so disastrously badly in 2006, that crowd became discombobulated and started flailing. Here's a party that can't even tell David Vitter and Larry Craig to get off the stage. To use a sports analogy, it's like watching the 49ers or the Raiders of the past few seasons and comparing them to the glory years. Same uniforms, more or less, but the guys in them are not getting the job done.

Distributorcap said...

that was great matty.... terrific summary of how truly awful this pick is

but the right wing is already cheering so loudly == and the media is already warning biden -- hands off

while i think it will ultimately backfire --- they are milking this one dry, so to speak

Matty Boy said...

D-cap, that's today, less than 30 hours in. The media wants news and the media wants controversy, and for the story to have legs, it has to get ugly, and her life story will get very ugly indeed.

Watch the documentary My Kid Could Paint That if you are unsure of what I mean.

namastenancy said...

Intelligent summary (as always). If only all political pundits were as wise as you are. I read a number of conservative blogs and they are in 7th heaven over this nomination. It's "take that Hillary, you whiner you," and "we are better than you are, so there!" Obviously I'm simplifying the dialogue but I was shocked at the number of people that don't. just. get. it. Feminism isn't about your ovaries; it's about strength and power. Being a woman is more than having a pair of boobies for (insert something here); it's about having a brain and being able to use it. Palin may be bragging that she's gone past the glass ceiling that Hillary cracked but if she has her way, that glass will be reinforced with concrete. Given the dismal Republican record of the last 8 years, I am dismayed that anybody wants to vote for them but I guess you can't underestimate the stupid.

kirby said...

Wait, I'm confused. Palin was picked because her boobs smell like madeleines?

Grapeshot/Odette said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Such cynicism and pandering in a presidential candidate are . . . well, hardly statesmanlike. McCain is a loose cannon. For my take, and by the way, I had the same thought--Monty Python and Michael Palin, see my yesterday's post: