Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Was Wrong (Again)

Since Friday I've been saying that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin was a desperation move that surely marked the end of any Republican aspirations to keep the White House in this year's election. How could an unknown, first-term governor from one of the least populous states in the country be a legitimate choice for VP? It seemed like the ultimate gimmick, designed to grab disgruntled Clinton voters away from Obama, and shake up a race whose outcome was all-but-determined.

Boy was I off the mark. But I've been wrong before, and I'm sure it will happen again. Here's the truth: Palin is a dynamic, funny, engaging, and charismatic speaker, possessed with self-confidence and poise. She's got toughness and pride and broad appeal, and she is certainly a far more inspired and daring choice than Joseph Biden, Obama's running mate. And still more - she has the social- and religious-conservative bona fides that McCain lacks that so energizes the Republican base. She may actually be the best choice McCain could have made in a challenging election year for Republicans.

Already the media machine has been charmed: instead of an honest exploration of her hypocritical and invasive policies, and her wrongheaded views on science and the environment, news consumers have been treated to the most simplistic of narratives about her: that she is a hockey mom who has been judged and mistreated by the democratic establishment and the liberal media.

I have watched only a bit of news since Friday, but I have heard repeated countless instances of hand-wringing that Palin's family should be off-limits, and that Palin should not be criticized for being a working mother of five and accepting the offer to be McCain's running mate. Here's my question: who criticized her for being a working mother? I would love to see the sound bites. Because I don't believe any such criticism actually happened.

Instead, reporters have asked her and everyone around her soft-headed questions like "do you think it's fair to be criticized for being a working mother of five?" Does anyone honestly think that there is more than one answer to that bullshit?

Here's a question for Palin that should not be off limits. "Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between a lack of comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy rates. This statistic has played itself out in your own life. As an opponent of sex education, how do you respond to that?"

I'd like someone in the "liberal media" to ask that question, please.


GeistX said...

She's still crazy as hell. She was chosen to appease the Christian Right and they've embraced her. Her politics are nasty as are her ideologies.

And only some media have been charmed by her. A lot are still going after her. Some of them even right-wing affiliated (Wash Post, NY Post, etc.).

She's also meant to appease the pro-gun crowd since she's a proud, vocal, card-carrying member of the NRA.

She's meant as the catalyst to gel the far right extremist groups that weren't so hot on McCain and in that she's succeeding.

We've pulled together some info and links about her. Another issue impeding questions like you ask is that she hasn't been allowed to answer questions from the general press en'mass and lot of indie-journalists have been arrested and/or have had their credentials to the floor pulled.

I look forward to discussing this last week with you more face to face this weekend.

Knight of Nothing said...

It's all well and good that Democracy Now! is calling her out. But ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CNN, and even the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer have all interviewed dozens of mainstream politicians and pundits. The message is stunning for its repetitive drone - someone has accused her of being a bad mother! Isn't that sexist?!?

You're coming to NN this weekend? Right on! Rather, nerd on!

Knight of Nothing said...

p.s., if I hear the word "vetted" one more time I think I'm gonna puke.

GeistX said...

Guess its the bubble world I live in but most pundits that I've watched (like on Larry King Live I watch that had James Carville on, which is CNN) have been focusing on her politics, not her parenting skills. Michelle Bachman was trying to use the sexist and demeaning to women card. But if you look at the RNC (who have some handing out buttons 'Hottest VP from the Coolest state') they are using this to make her appear a victim. They're exploiting her, and her daughter.

Knight of Nothing said...

Could very well be the bubble world I'm living in. :-) But from what I've seen, she doesn't seem timid about her accomplishments or her politics, and the buzz about her is very loud.

Brett and Dave both said that she's never going to look better than she does at convention time. They are certainly right. But I stand by my assertion that in a difficult election year for Republicans, choosing her was a great move for their side.

Tiff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiff said...

Since I have been enjoying the likes of the unemployment world, I have seen the people questioning her ability to help run the country while raising 5 kids + a grandkid, and it is not the mainstream politicians and pundits or 'newscasters' of ABC, NBC, CBS or even FOX, it is Barabra WaWa and her gang on the View! And frankly, what about raising 5 kids doesn't prepare you to run a country? Now the lack of experience in national politics and numerous other things should be the reason we focus on her inability to be an effective VP. And in all honesty if 72 year old McCain makes it into the White House we should be more worried that he will keel over and die and she will be left to run the that case Biden makes a much better choice.

Knight of Nothing said...

Hi Tiff - I didn't know that the catty women on the View had piped up about her being a mother-of-five. Shame on them!

I absolutely agree that Biden would *govern* better, but I still think Palin is a formidable personality. In the current state of electoral politics, where personality trumps policy, McCain was wise to choose her. It's gonna be a close race!

J G-W said...

I had the same reaction to Palin as you... Initial relief that McCain had REALLY blown it big time, and that this had sealed the Republican defeat in November... to the sinking realization that this VP pick makes McCain (ironically) look like the maverick candidate for change and fresh approaches, while it makes Obama, with Biden, look increasingly like the establishment-courting insider.

The Republicans are masters of the old shell game, you've got to hand them that.