Thursday, 4 September 2008

The Sarah Palin Edition of Stop the Stupid!!

Look what happened! I take a little vacation and all hell breaks loose south of the border. Honestly! You would have thought that the moshiach had arrived given all of the dust that has been kicked up over McCain's choice of the governor of Alaska as his running mate. While surprising in its curve ball approach to politics, you have to give the Republican nominee points for disrupting Senator Obama's news cycle. The Dems were coming off of an enormous high last Thursday. Their convention could not have gone better, and they walked away from Denver with the image of Barack and Hillary walking arm and arm off into the sunset. And then.....a cold wind blew in from the north! There has been so much coverage this week about the Republicans attempt to write their own history with the nomination of Ms. Palin, that everything else seems to have disappeared. So, here is my attempt to stop the stupidity surrounding Sarah Palin.

1. While the choice of the first woman to run on a Republican ticket is a tremendous accomplishment, (it only took them 88 years since suffrage to recognize over 50% of the population, and more than 20 years since Geraldine Ferrarro's nomination!!) I find it thoroughly demeaning to think that women will automatically vote for this ticket simply because of her presence. Certainly, she has energized the base of the party, but those women were going to vote Republican anyway. As to the blatant manipulation of attempting to draw in disaffected Hillary voters? I don't see it. Those women supported Senator Clinton because of her policies on universal health care, pro-choice, minimum wage increases and environmental concerns. In short, she is diametrically opposed to everything that Sarah Palin has built her career on!! Women never have and never will vote with one voice. To expect that they will en masse flock to Ms. Palin simply because she possesses the correct body parts is an affront to the intelligence of the woman voter!! I don't recall any pundit out there dissecting the effect of Barack Obama's or John McCain's "manhood" on the male vote. Let's get these idiots into the 21st century and stop stupidly trying to assess what women will do.

2. While I am on the subject of the media, I was astounded at the coverage. When I first heard the news of the possibility of her nomination, I was watching CNN from a motel room in Indianapolis. The rumour had still not been confirmed, but it was out there. John Roberts (or J.D as we Canadians still call him from his VJ days on CITY TV!!) actually had the gall in his first reporting on the governor, to tell the audience about her beauty pageant experience and show a 25 year old picture that made it appear as though she was topless!! Then CNN went a step further as to actually question her abilities, because it takes so much time to be the mother of a child with special needs!! Chris Matthews on MSNBC actually called her "that gal from Alaska"!! The Wall Street Journal actually has an in depth article about her fitness program! HUH? There have been musings about whether a mother of five might have the requisite amount of time to take on the second highest office in the USA!! Barack Obama has publicly stated that one of his biggest regrets in this campaign is that he has only seen his daughters for about ten days in the last year!! I don't hear any media-types questioning his abilities as a father or how it might impact him if he is elected!! Not only that, but if I hear one more commentary on how attractive she is, I might walk through a plate glass window!!! Didn't we get through all of this misogyny shit when Hillary was running? Didn't these assholes learn anything about covering a woman politician? I happen to disagree with Sarah Palin on almost every issue that is out there today, but the fact that she is a woman, wife or mother has absolutely no bearing on her abilities to do the job. Grow up, people! This is more than stupid. It is positively insulting!!

3. How disingenuous is it for the McCain campaign to blame the press for all of their woes concerning the Palin pick? This was a decision that was extremely different, certainly not on anyone's radar and never properly vetted!! How else is the media supposed to react when they have been given absolutely zero information to work with? John McCain has enjoyed one of the coziest relationships with the press in recent political history. They have fallen all over themselves to make him look like the "maverick" candidate for the last 8 years. Now that he is actually running and has chosen an out of the box running mate, the press is finally doing their due-diligence. Whenever politicians run into trouble, they play the blame the media card. Give me a break!! This guys use and manipulate the press into willing accomplices for their own purposes and then have the nerve to blame them when things are looking a bit bleak? Stupid and manipulative!!

4. While I happen to agree with the premise that Ms. Palin's daughter and her impending pregnancy is a private family issue, I think that it is okay to question the governor on her policies and ideas. I find it interesting that while her 17 year old daughter is 5 months pregnant and Ms. Palin and her husband have stepped up with both emotional and physical help, many young girls are not blessed with the same kind of familial support. The Washington Post published this little item on Wednesday.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

According to Passage House's web site, its purpose is to provide "young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."
Nice? Governor Palin, not all young single mothers have the same opportunities that you are affording your own daughter. They need help. This is the height of hypocrisy and stupidity!!

4. So while we are at it, let's look at Sarah Palin's stances on other issues. She is a fierce opponent of a woman's right to choose. (unless of course that choice is for a 17 year old to keep an unplanned pregnancy!!) She is a member of the group Feminists For Life, a group dedicated with ending reproductive rights. She obviously does not support gay marriage. She supports increased domestic oil drilling and is a lifelong member of the NRA!! She would like to eliminate access to family planning education, (glass houses-anyone?) and domestic partnership benefits. She wants to control what kids learn about sex in school and she is advocate of intelligent design. She gets her health care fully paid for by the state of Alaska, yet opposes any sort of universal health care policy for the approximately 42 million uninsured in America. John McCain, and now by extension Ms. Palin, has opposed every single education support program to help needy kids go to college. She says that she is against earmarks and pet projects, but in fact in her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly 750 million dollars in federal spending. The highest per capita in the nation. Only those of moderate views who vote for this obviously right-wing conservative can be called stupid.

5. While in Wasilla, she was a member of the fundamentalist Assembly of God church that has obviously shaped her views. Check out her address to the church from this past June!
Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
OY!! So the Iraq war is now a crusade? Onward Christian soldiers, defeat the infidel!!! OMG!! Save the woman from her stupid self!!

6. Just in case my "landsmen" out there haven't taken the hint, this is not a woman who is great for Our People. She has absolutely no record to speak of on Israel and her fundamentalist roots should be of concern.

An illustration of that gap came just two weeks ago, when Palin’s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, gave its pulpit over to a figure viewed with deep hostility by many Jewish organizations: David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus.

Palin’s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Brickner on Aug. 17, according to a transcript of the sermon on the church’s website.

“He’s a leader of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism,” Kroon said.

Brickner then explained that Jesus and his disciples were themselves Jewish.

“The Jewish community, in particular, has a difficult time understanding this reality,” he said.
Brickner’s mission has drawn wide criticism from the organized Jewish community, and the Anti-Defamation League accused them in a report of “targeting Jews for conversion with subterfuge and deception.”

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity.

"Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it."
This does not sound like someone who is willing and ready to reach out to my people in an equal and unbiased fashion. Cause for concern? Not stupid--SCARY!!

7. Why is it that Republicans can get away with hate-mongering when nobody else can? Listening to Romney and Huckabee last night espouse hateful remarks about gay marriage made me nauseous. I know that this is a fringe of the party, but it is played to with constant regularity. STOP!! Homophobia is the new racism and it is sickening!!

I am willing to play along. I watched this very accomplished woman speak last night, and I was impressed. She is smart, funny, opinionated to a fault (but then again-aren't we all?) and obviously dedicated to family. But, we need to look beyond the crass and obvious game that the McCain campaign is playing. This woman will be one step away from the Oval Office. Remember, the old fart is 72 and has a history of melanoma!! I realize that very few people vote for the number 2 on the ticket, but this is no ordinary election. I also realize that my American friends will tell me that this is none of my business, insofar that I cannot vote. But, you all need to understand that the USA has an enormous reach and everything that is done there affects the rest of the world. We are tied together, whether we like it or not. So, for the sake of the planet--I beg you.

Obama/Biden '08!!

P.S I promise to discuss the Canadian election next week!!

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