Friday, August 29, 2008

What a VP pick

I was amazed that John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. What a crafty old fox. Despite the fact that I probably disagree with her on many issues, what I'm reading about her so far impresses me.

What impresses me most is how she took on her own state GOP to expose corruption and incompetence in Republican ranks. I love good governance. Her biggest scandals in her Governorship appear to be related to trying to get her brother-in-law fired. He was a State Trooper who threatened to kill her father and drank beer in the patrol car. Not such great qualities in a law officer. And she tried to keep a state run dairy open at a loss. Why are politicians such suckers for the farmers?

She's clearly a tough woman and a go-getter. We probably wouldn't have been friends in high school (if we'd been contemporaries), but she's the kind of person I'd be proud to serve with on a local committee. She'd get things done. But then she'd talk about teaching Creationism in science class or restricting access to safe and legal abortions - and I kinda have to draw the line there.

Her pro-gun stance is hardly surprising for someone from Alaska. I think they need their guns up there. They have some big and dangerous varmints in those parts, I hear.

Drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Reserve? She's for it. I couldn't give a stuff. Really. I don't care.


Sarah Palin, not somebody I'd vote for, but frankly I think this is the good old kick in the teeth that the DNC deserves. Too much sexist bullshit this election cycle. Let the Republicans show they can rise above it. (If they can.)

I think it's great there's a woman in the VP slot. We do represent over half the voting electorate, so it seems only reasonable that we should have a fourth of the top slots on offer. Oh - and that would be two women total in over 200 years of major party campaigning.

Now we'll see how fair and balanced the media are. Will Sarah Palin have to suffer the same treatment as Hillary Clinton? On the left there will be the accusations that she's a sellout for women (the same slurs Margaret Thatcher endured). I've never bought into that. Just because someone doesn't fit your ideal of what a woman leader should be like doesn't mean she isn't a polticiian who isn't true to herself and her ideals. You don't like her ideals, don't vote for her. But don't say she's less of woman.

On the Right there'll be questions about whether she should be running for office while she has small children. Blechhh. I've already heard those comments (all from men that I saw) dripping into Fox News feedback. I'm sure her husband is a capable man and can look after things.


girl from the south said...

You have no idea how thrilled I am at McCain's pick. Up to this point, I've been "meh. Election 2008." This got me and a lot of other conservatives in the game.

Palin is my ideal politician. She's a sharp, strong women who dares to be socially and fiscally conservative. Furthermore, she lives out her politics. That speaks a lot to me. As I noted on twitter, this is the first time that conservative women have been recognized. We finally have a voice. The fact that McCain had the sense to pull this off and one-up the Dems astounds me.

A Free Man said...

I'm pretty sure I'm fixin' to piss you off, probably even moreso than I will with the Vol slagging later in the season. And if you want to dismiss it as sexism, then so be it.

I actually thought of you when I heard about this. I said to myself, "Self, The Vol Abroad is the target audience for this move by the G.O.P." And, I'll admit it was politically brilliant in so many ways.

But I hope, I really do, that you're not going to allow yourself to be manipulated by such an obvious machination by a party that has very little respect for you or your views.

You correctly recognize that Palin comes from the Evangelical right, I hope that ultimately that carries more weight than her sex and the attempt by the G.O.P. to try and make this election about not just race, but sex as well.

Two cents duly deposited.

Vol Abroad said...

GFTS - I thought about you when I heard of this pick. I know you're thrilled. You know what. You DESERVE this. Women for a long time have done a lot of the graft in every major political party I've had experience of working with or against. Why shouldn't we be standing at the FRONT of the stage?

You may not like this - and I may not like this - and I think in some ways it's sad, but I think you have women like Hillary Clinton and women like me who were so pissed off by what happened during the primaries to thank for Sarah Palin's designation. If we hadn't held out, Sarah Palin wouldn't have seemed so electorally smart a choice. She does come with some minuses.

I'm not dismissing her talents when I say that. I admire her integrity. Heck, I give her tons of credit just for refusing to fund the state portion of silly Ted Stevens's stupid bridge to nowhere.

Free Man - I'm not stupid. When I heard about this pick, I knew that McCain was talking to me. He's asking me to vote for him. At worst, he's asking me not to vote against him. And he's giving me a REASON to do so. That's more than Obama has done - see my previous email - and see the comment from Sam - who ASKS me to vote for Obama. First time anyone's done that, and I have to say it went a LONG way with me.

My vote is NOT to be taken for granted. It's only one, and there are many other like it, but this one is MINE. Myself and my vote are the defenders of my country and my interests. I'm not going to throw it away - even if this time it means keeping it at home. I just haven't decided yet.

Anonymous said...

The selection was sheer genius. As the Repubs number two, she has more executive experience than the Dims number one. She will take Bidet apart in the debate without even breathing hard.

genderist said...

McCain's pick only solidifies my vote on the straight-ticket dem ballot. She wants abortion banned (that includes cases of rape or incest); she thinks creationism should be taught in all schools; she thinks we should drill more; she thinks animals on the endangered species list should be taken off if they interfere with the drilling area (she sued the Bush admin over this); she has zero foreign policy experience; she is pro the Iraq war; she is in the pocket of big oil. ... These views don't align with me. If you like them, more power to you.

I'm just really surprised.

Vol Abroad said...

Genderist I agree with you on everything but the foreign policy experience. As Governor of Alaska, she probably has more foreign policy experience than most governors - and perhaps a bit more than some Junior senators. She has to lead negotiations with both Canada and Russia on certain things.

On ANWAR - I'm neutral. That's just me.

I'm not saying I like her policies, but I am saying I think she's a credible politician. If she were a man, I wouldn't vote for her. If she were a man, I would still be impressed with her her reform agenda.

But she is a woman. And I'm going to be watching how she's treated. And I'm going to raise a holy stink if she's treated with anything less than the respect she deserves.

This was never just about Hillary Clinton. And this isn't about Sarah Palin - who is - as I've said, not someone I would want to vote for. This is about any woman who wants to enter political life.

genderist said...

That's fair.