Saturday, September 13, 2008

When a woman speaks

Karen Heller wrote what I believe to be the most delightful of editorials, considering that she wasn't overly impressed with McCain's pick of Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Nor was she overly impressed with the reaction of women to McCain's pick of Governor Palin to be his running mate. Or McCain himself. Excerpts:
Many women, and the men vying for women's attention, are too busy assailing or defending the Republican vice-presidential nominee.
That's entirely correct. We in the blogosphere certainly are. But at times I feel I defend Palin as well. If she is such an accomplished woman, that is one thing that McCain should take into consideration. And factually, he does not. His ads demonstrate that he does not. His uproar over "lipstick on a pig" proves that he does not. His need to have his nominee coached on what to say to Charles Gibson merely provides further evidence that he does not. So, the off-hand chance that Palin did become veep? Would that be on the order of glorified secretary? She brings coffee into McCain's office then goes back out to take care of the paperwork while the more qualified cabinet take care of their meetings without her? Yeah, McCain gives that impression.
Like the alpha girls of junior high, women are dwelling on Palin's looks, her children, her voice. Her story has become the hit drama of the new fall season.
Should it come as a major surprise that McCain would pick a real pretty woman? Not necessarily the most competent, but certainly as beautiful as he can find them. Same thing with Cindy McCain. Well, then I guess other women will now dwell on her looks. That is, Barbie doll looks. With reference to "The Inlander" her story is about all she does have going for her. She can field dress a caribou, she is a mother, she runs a business, she became a mayor that scoped out all the earmarks she could find... Her story, that the GOP were careful to play out in the rosiest hues possible. Even when it wasn't possible. And Palin herself made that "she's a mom" would have national attention. Not only with a Downs Syndrome baby, but also a pregnant out of wedlock teen.
After their speed date, John McCain selected Sarah Palin not due to experience or compatability, but because she's the woman who completes him.
I know where Heller goes with this, about the fact that McCain is elderly, irreligious. But I can also think of another line, Palin's ability to corner the market on religious extremism. Even when there is no real proof that Palin governs from a religious extremism agenda. If McCain wanted to corner the market on religious extremism, then he could have picked any number of pastors or even the sons of pastors. Which makes the argument that religious women, now gah gah over Palin, if they took another look at her "religious credentials" may find her to be no more religious in the willingness to govern that way than McCain himself. That being the case, how quickly would the religious activists sour on McCain/Palin? My take on both, I don't give a flying hoot what they believe, it is how they act, publicly or privately that determines whether I vote GOP or Dem. And from what I have found from both McCain/Palin, is that neither of them truly have a sense of principles. He flip flops, she may have helped kill the bridge to nowhere, but she did keep the money. She didn't exactly say no thank you while extracting the dough from my wallet.
Palin also bestows on McCain the embittered evangelical far right, the electoral gluttons who almost sat out a cycle but whose needs apparently must be served in every general election before those of everyone else.
McCain made the theme of his convention, service and putting country first. I expect that is defined as... Keller stated above. There is McCain's country, the religious special interests, and then there is the rest of us. And finally:
The battle this engenders among women underscores, despite hollow bromides to the contrary, how few have reached the upper echelons of politics. To attack Palin, McCain's camp argues, is to attack all women, rather than say, these Republicans.
On the other hand, to attack Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, is not to attack all women. Only those who are Democrat. Only those who are in Congress. Only those who have the legislative agenda the rest of us may disagree with. You would think that Sarah Palin had just taken on the reincarnation of Mother Mary. Unlike other politicians, Palin must be completely protected from the normal hoi polloi of political life. Ever hear of idol worship? By the way, from Palin's record, she ain't pure or a saint. And that should say a great deal about the lack of moral principles among the religious activists.

Gary Crooks devoted an entire "Smart Bombs" to the McCain/Palin ticket. I'd definitely have to say that Crooks managed to establish himself as a journalist, better than Lou Dobbs when he established that earmark spending (porcine spending) is 16.9 billion for all of 2008. We spend a billion a day in Iraq. Out of such earmark spending in which McCain takes great pains to target some GOP, definitely Dems and in particular Obama, placed in a matter of perspective, 16.9 billion is a comparative drop in the bucket to gvt expenditures elsewhere.

Mr. Crooks also pointed out an earmark not on McCain's list: "We do know some of the earmarks that irritate McCain, because he keeps a list. Oddly, the $10 million he requested for the William Rehnquist center to commemorate the former chief justice and fellow Arizonan is not on the list." Proceeds to put a lie to McCain's claim that he opposed earmarks so much... Well, except for the now late Justice William Rehnquist. Sounds like the taxpayers were out a pretty penny for a center devoted to a fellow who loved shredding the U.S. Constitution and past laws passed by Congress and signed into existence by presidents. Uh, I am not likely to visit such a center that my tax dollars paid for any time soon. I also feel it was a pure waste of my money. I am sure that a Rehnquist center could more easily have come into existence on purely personal donations. The equivalent of the much mocked studying of dairy herds, right?

Gary Crooks appears weekly in the Spokesman-Review. Heller is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer republished Saturday, 13 September 2008.

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