S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

On to McCain: Let the Record Show

About Governor Sarah Palin -- Senator McCain, we are on to you now about what your actions indicate. The negative reaction to your naming of a right wing novice to be your running mate is broad and deep. And it is far from an unreasoning reaction. There are good reasons for our opinions. It is not as if we citizens would be unaffected by the outcome, if the order of succession tragically came into play here.

About this Veep -- The range of similar views spans the political spectrum. Long time liberals leveled predictable comments; but so did some conservatives. Democratic reaction ranged from edgy delight to dismay. Republicans wanting to support their presumptive presidential nominee were left scrambling for coherence.

What is all the sputtering about? These links from " betmo" offer, she says, "two views of Palin." The first bears on the question of women's choice and the second is by an Alaskan who appears to be in the know.

1) Regarding women -- "Sarah Palin and Feminists for Life,"by Ruth Rosen is at TPM Cafe (8/29/08). To quote its conclusion:

In the end, I decided that Feminists for Life is neither about feminism nor about choice. It is a cunning attempt to convince young women that choice means giving up the right to "choose."

Sarah Palin is the inexperienced woman Sen. John McCain has chosen as his running mate, hoping that she will attract the vital female vote. It's the worst kind of affirmative action, choosing a person he barely knows, who is completely unprepared to assume any national office. It's like nominating Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. It's all about ideology and not about competence.

To put it bluntly, Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. Nor does she have the vision and brilliance of Barack Obama. This is an incredible insult to most American women. Just how stupid does he think we are?

2) From on the ground -- "Dispatch From Alaska: Palin? Really?" is by Charles Wohlforth, a lifelong Alaska Democrat and occasional TNR contributor, gives us the word on Palin from up north. It is from The New Republic - The Plank (8/29/08): To quote rather extensively:

I first met Sarah Palin just after she'd been elected mayor of the little town of Wasilla, Alaska, in October 1996. My first impression was that she didn't seem up to the job.

. . . I eventually came to see her appeal when she ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2002. She projected an authenticity and freshness that was very appealing in a state saddled with a corrupt oligarchy of pro-oil Republicans. . . Palin was among the first to take a stand. Having been in the right place at the right time, with that amazing smile, she shot upward in a way no one has ever done before.

The idea of her being a potential president, however, is laughable. That is to say, at our house this morning, we literally were belly-laughing when we heard the news that John McCain had chosen her. I wouldn't be surprised if the audience she spoke to at McCain's announcement was the largest she ever addressed.

Running for governor two years ago, Palin didn't have firm stands on issues, and in debates, she displayed discomfiting shallowness. A moderator had to ask her three times to clarify her position on the critical (for us) issue of indigenous hunting rights. Her victory was simply a vote for change.

. . . By most objective measures, she isn't ready to be a single heartbeat away from the presidency. The image of McCain and Palin on stage this morning looked a bit like a graduation picture, of father and daughter. It reminded me as well of the elder George Bush and Dan Quayle. On the other hand, Palin did well in her speech.

About what we do or do not know -- Author "smintheus" @ Daily Kos (8/29/08) wrote a very good expose, "Some things you didn't know about Sarah Palin." HT to Jon for this. To quote:

Sarah Palin had political experience only as a small town mayor until less than two years ago. What we don't know about her could fill a book. Here are a few things we're learning about Palin.

. . . John McCain would have us believe that Iraq is the central battle in the war on terror, and yet he selects as his running mate somebody who was paying almost no attention to the Iraq war for 4 long years after the invasion.

. . . the troopergate scandal, in which Palin allegedly misused her power as governor by bringing inappropriate pressure for two employees to be fired. What's perhaps most interesting is that Palin appears to have begun misusing power almost as soon as she got any real power.

About mainstream media's McCain bias -- Senator McCain, we are on to you about the easy time the mainstream media has given you over the years. This little gem from Jon (8/22/08) is from Time Magazine: "McCain, From The Vault." This story features a McCain 1988 campaign video, as well as a recent New York Times correction regarding erroneously calling McCain a "fighter pilot." And even vets are on to you, including this "One Pissed Off Veteran." the link comes from Jon on 8/24/08, who says, "it has a number of anti 'mc insane' sites."

About your lobbyist ties -- Senator McCain, we are on to your hypocrisy. This is from Jon (8/22/08) "This guy is good talking out of both sides of his mouth! Check out this post on Think Progress:"McCain: There Are Too Many Lobbyists In Washington, But 160 Of Them Run My Campaign." To quote the post's opening:

Earlier this week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) held a $1.75 million fundraiser tied to Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition head connected to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In an interview with Politico yesterday, however, McCain ripped lobbyists as birds of prey, adding, I think there are too many lobbyists in Washington". . .

Getting on to McCain is not unpatriotic, it is not irrational, and it is not irresponsible. It is necessary. The Democratic Convention is over and now it is time to move on to McCain Unmasked --The Republican Convention. You have heard before and you will hear again, "We cannot afford four more years of this."

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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