Saturday, August 30, 2008

Change, Republican Style


John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President shows that Republicans are interested in change too. After all, she's not a blond.

Yet, McCain didn't want to get too carried away with the whole change thing. Not everybody likes change.

She may be a woman, but look at her other qualities. She wears her hair in that oh so flattering bun-thingy. She's a stridently anti-abortion, a creationist proponent, gun-loving reformist (she only has one scandal), former beauty queen who didn't know what the VP does.

Alaskan blogger Mudflats had this perfect initial reaction to Palin, Sarah Palin? McCain’s Next Trophy Girl?:

McCain obviously is looking for the Hillary vote since apparently he thinks women need no other criteria than a set of ovaries to mark their ballot, right? I mean women don’t actually make policy decisions, do they?

He’s also looking for the Evangelical vote. Palin, a creationist, anti-gay, pro-lifer will appeal to this crowd. Her fondness for creationism in schools, and the recent birth of a Downs Syndrome child can’t hurt here.

Did I say recent birth of a child? Why, yes. Our new Vice Presidential candidate has four children plus an infant son. She obviously feels caring for her newborn won’t get in the way of her Vice Presidential duties.

And don’t worry fellas. There’s plenty for you. Sarah won second place in the Miss Alaska contest! Didn’t they have a card for that in Monopoly? And John McCain knows how important it is to have a trophy wife Veep on his arm.

And he followed with, What is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective:
Before her meteoric rise to political success as governor, just two short years ago Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla. I had a good chuckle at MSN.com’s claim that she had been the mayor of “Wasilla City”. It is not a city. Just Wasilla. Wasilla is the heart of the Alaska “Bible belt” and Sarah was raised amongst the tribe that believes creationism should be taught in our public schools, homosexuality is a sin, and life begins at conception. She’s a gun-toting, hang ‘em high conservative. Remember…this is where her approval ratings come from. There is no doubt that McCain again is making a strategic choice to appeal to a particular demographic - fundamentalist right-wing gun-owning Christians.
My husband and I discussed his choice and again questioned whether the GOP is intentionally trying to lose the race. After all, things are so bad in so many areas -- the economy, the war(s), our standing in the world, unemployment, healthcare, global warming, the direction of the country, that it might be better to let the Democrats take over for a while, so the GOP could start blaming them for all the woes that we're facing and wait until it looks like things might be on the upswing before trying to regain the White House. The selection of Palin certainly supports that theory.

Steve Benen, who now writes at The Washington Monthly, riffs on the "confounding choice":

* McCain has spent the last several years insisting that the most important qualities in a candidate for national office are experience and a background in national security. Sarah Palin was, up until recently, the mayor of a town of 9,000 people, and is currently the governor of a small state with a part-time legislature, with one-and-a-half years under her belt.

* McCain may want to improve his appeal among women voters, but he skipped right past more qualified Republican women -- women he actually knows -- such as Kay Bailey Hutchison, Elizabeth Dole, and Olympia Snowe, all of whom would have brought genuine credibility to a ticket.

* In an election season in which voters desperately want change, McCain has picked a hard-right conservative. I mean, really conservative. We're talking about a former activist for Pat Buchanan, staunch opponent of reproductive rights, global-warming denier, and skeptic of modern biology. There's a reason every right-wing group in America is jumping up and down with glee this afternoon.

* The usual pattern is for Republicans to reach national office and then face ethics investigation for alleged wrongdoing. This year, the GOP seems willing to reverse this, putting a governor on the national ticket who's already facing an ethics investigation.

* She recently asked what a Vice President does all day. How encouraging.

I would also note that John McCain doesn't strike me as the most enlightened male around (and not just because of the cunt comment to his wife). Admittedly, I normally give 72 year old men a pass on the sexist, Neanderthal man label, but he is running for President, after all. As Benen noted, when he decided to cravenly go for the "babe" as his VP pick (the McCain version of appealing to the woman voter), he didn't select a professional woman who's clearly qualified in her own right. Nope, he picked someone who can serve tea to visiting foreign heads of state.

Phawker put it best, in MCCAIN VEEP: It’s A Girl!:
Three thoughts up front. 1.) You can measure the fear of a man by the extremity of his choices. 2.) His choice is a response to the Democratic party circa last week. Not the Democratic party circa now. 3.) This is like saying to black people, ‘Here’s Clarence Thomas, he’s black just like YOU!’

1 comment:

Susan said...

From Chuck Todd of (I spend too much time watching)MSNBC a couple of days before selection: Romney or Pawlenty will mean McCain entourage thinks he has a fair chance; weird pick (e.g. Lieberman) means Hail Mary pass.