I haven’t written about Sarah Palin, here, mainly because (a) I hate her, (b) I hate her, (c) I hate her, hate her, hate her and I darkly suspect that this is on purpose, a GOP strategy to get me blinded with rage and throw me off my game. (I’ve had the feeling that this is how conservatives feel about Hillary Clinton. Of course, before taking office, Hillary was a lawyer, not a beauty queen and sportscaster. Err, I’m leaving out “board of Wal-Mart” and “twelve-year first lady” from my description of Hillary’s life before becoming a Senator, but I feel I need to qualify any comparison between Hillary and Palin so as to avoid making a massive insult to Hillary’s service.) Any talk of just how gol-durn charming Palin is kind of distracts from the fact that she wants to take reproductive choice away from women even in cases of rape, she wants to drill in ANWR and once believed an oil pipeline was a “task from God,” she was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it (and then, kept the money!), she’s willing to go to war with Russia, she thinks that humans are not responsible for global warming despite massive evidence to the contrary, as mayor she fired (and then rehired, after an outcry) the head librarian for not censoring books she found inappropriate, and she is so new to public life that the rest of her is an unsettling blank slate (an awfully inappropriate shell game for John McCain to be playing). And, John McCain becoming President would mean a pretty good chance of her being sworn in by succession.
I don’t need to tell you what a disaster this would be for the country. What could would a woman President be if she would set back women’s rights a thousand years? Can we afford the damage she would do to the environment and the further global wars she seems willing to get us involved in? We tried a longtime failed CEO, baseball manager, and brief governor of Texas as President and look what that got us. Barack Obama may not have been in government that long, but his career as community organizer, Constitutional law professor, voting-rights lawyer, and state- and federal-level Senator is deep, broad and well-documented. And, unlike Palin, Obama’s history gives us a thorough sense of his governing philosophy. In Palin’s case, the few glimpses we get from her history are uniformly terrifying.
If you want to make the unspeakable comparison between the intelligent, erudite Obama, the tough and calculating mind behind instincts of consensus and productivity, and the folksy Palin who makes every attempt to buttress the impression that she is thoroughly vacuous (and beholden to a vague but horrifying ideology), Palin just fell off the turnip truck yesterday. She is thoroughly unqualified to succeed the President in the midst of a crisis; her only qualification is that she is just like us. And, I’m sorry, I want the President to be extraordinary. I don’t want him or her to be just like me, though I would prefer a Vice President who uses the same public transportation as the rest of us (it’s always good when legislators use the services they create, as it allows them to understand the services’ strengths and weaknesses and motivates them to improve the services) rather than one who bills the taxpayers for travel costs when staying at her own home.
Wow, uhhh, I was trying to avoid talking about Palin. Well, so much for that. What I was going to say is read Christopher Priest’s post here if you want to know how I feel about Palin. I guess, here is more on how I feel about Palin.
I’ve Finally Decided That I Hate Her (According To Me)
That tinny voice. The Prom Queen hair-doo. The Tina Fey thing. But, mostly, the audacity at work here. Governor Sarah Palin is, to me, a walking, breathing insult to: (1) Hillary Clinton’s PUMAS, (2) Hillary Clinton, (3) her historic campaign—which Palin is directly benefitting from in a very cheap way, (4) polar bears, (5) most anyone who graduated middle school.
I don’t buy the McCain campaign’s flimsy assertion that they’ve kept Palin off the grid to protect her from reporters “pouncing” on her about her pregnant kid. Memo to McCain campaign: she’s running for Vice President with an old guy who looks exhausted every time I see him. She *needs* to be pounced on. Had McCain selected anyone else, they’d be getting pounced on. Getting pounced on is what happens when you spring people on us at the last minutes. If Sarah Palin can’t take the heat of Chris Matthews and the boys, she’s really in the wrong racket.
And, don’t get me wrong. I think the prospect of a John McCain presidency is terrifying in itself. My two big worries of such a prospect are a) the fact that his personal history and attitude towards Iraq strongly indicate to me that he wants to refight Vietnam and get it right this time, and b) the fact that he wants to continue Bush’s style of Supreme Court appointments, which would swing the court entirely to the side that has consistently been in favor of the rights of the rich and powerful against the larger American community. (The infamous Ledbetter case involved a woman who sued because she was paid considerably less than equally qualified and productive men at her company, and the Court ruled that she could not because she had found out long after the pay discrepancy began. Sucks to be you, women! Oh, and don’t forget the time that they cut the historic punitive damages from the Exxon-Valdez disaster down to a paltry $500 million because they arbitrarily believed that maritime cases should have punitive damages no greater than the amount of damage caused, which really strains the notion of “punitive” damages altogether. And there was the time they ruled that the Second Amendment means that you can keep a loaded handgun on you in the slums of D.C., despite the fact that handguns would not be the weapon of choice of a well-regulated militia. I could go on forever, but this post wasn’t supposed to be about the Supreme Court…)
I should also note that McCain’s singleminded devotion to conservative economic policies that he doesn’t even understand would mean a Hoover-like slavishness to Bush’s “Big Deal” plan for the economy. It’s clear that, in times like these, we need someone who can use liberal and conservative policies together to get the job done, someone with FDR-like vision to help the country get through the economic doldrums. John McCain doesn’t just not know the Federal Reserve interest rate from his elbow, he has promised to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich and powerful and rallied the conservative base by promising more of the same, something far more costly (especially given their ineffectiveness shown so far) than Obama’s comparatively fiscally modest plans (PDF) for slightly higher taxes on the rich and a healthcare plan that would prevent you from being financially ruined by ordinary human sickness. It’s a constant drumbeat from the Obama campaign, but it’s true: McCain thinks you’re on your own, McCain’s world is one in which the government can give money to the already rich and it will eventually trickle down. If it doesn’t, well, then it sucks to be you for not fitting into their preconcieved mental framework.
I digress. A McCain presidency would be a disaster for everyone. But making a vacuous conservative ideologue with virtually no traceable history (and what she has is terrifying!) a 72-year-old heartbeat with a history of cancer away from the Presidency… that would make the Bush presidency look like a picnic in the park. …If there are any parks left, when Sarah Palin’s finished with them.