Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Sarah Palin's Noble Choices and Aspirations.

As much as I may resent what I see as some of the most exploitive politics in recent times, I can't help thinking and talking about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. It's true that I am playing right into GOP hands by helping wipe the slate clean after this week's Democratic convention. But this is a fascinating scenario that I'm still trying to get my head around. This is Machiavellian strategy at its finest. Imagine making a decision of this magnitude, and doing it completely out of expediency. It's purely reactionary thinking on the part of the McCain campaign. Do you have any doubt that things would have gone down differently had Obama picked Hillary Clinton as his partner? I don't. Not at all.

Listening to the right wing pundits on talk radio, you'd think that this was sheer brilliance. The Christian branch of the GOP has been stroked. This woman is so "pro-life" that she had a kid that she knew was afflicted with Down's Syndrome. How wise and compassionate she must be to accept this "gift from God". She's accepted this beautiful presence in her life in such a self-sacrificing manner. It should be pointed out that anyone who makes the choice not to abort a fetus with such a severe disability is making a commitment to give of themselves in a way a parent of normally-functioning children can not ever truly understand. The amount of time and energy that the mother must invest are extraordinary*.

This Sarah Palin must truly be a noble soul, right? She's going to prioritize the sanctity of life. She's going to live up to her reputation as a crusader for "family values". She must be absolutely inexhaustible. As governor of a state of such crucial importance to the rest of the nation, she must call upon her extensive education and experience to look out for the interests of all US citizens, and not just the tens of thousands who elected her to office. And that's not all. Now she's agreed to take on a bigger role of service to our country. She's willing to accept the nomination to be our Vice President. Why is that? Well, as of the beginning of this month she didn't even know. In her own words "I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?"

Well, in her case (should McCain win in November) she has to be prepared at any time to assume the duties of the presidency. If you're not aware of the state of John McCain's health, suffice it to say that the 72-year-old's prognosis is not especially favorable. So Palin really ought to be boning up on her prospective duties in the number 1 spot as well, because she is not what anyone could call especially well-informed when it comes to federal government (in fact she's never served in it). At the very least, she should spend some time studying Iraq. In an interview with Alaska Business Monthly in 2007, she was asked about the troop "surge" and she replied, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

Of course that's a bit odd considering her oldest son is due for deployment to the Middle Eastern theater on September 11th of this year. But we've got to cut her some slack. She has a lot on her plate. I'm sure the investigation into her possibly unlawful dismissal of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan is eating into her moose-hunting time. The results of that inquiry will be released on October 30th. Furthermore, she's going to be on the campaign trail for the next 60 odd days. In order for her to unleash her "Sarah Barracuda" persona on Joe Biden, she's going to have to receive a basic introduction to national policy and government, which should sufficiently complement her prestigious bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Idaho.

And finally, the duties of motherhood never end. This will be a crucial time in the early development of her four-month-old disabled infant. And she's got four other kids to nurture. Hopefully she can carry over some of the burnished luster from her "Miss Congeniality" days that allowed her to finish second in the Alaska Beauty Pageant. Maybe she can take few a sips from John McCain's energy drink.



* Especially for a woman with four children who decides to have another at age 43, knowing that the risks of an abnormal pregnancy are dramatically heightened.

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32 Comments:

Blogger Meade said...

What makes it, as you say, Machiavellian? Also, why stop at Down Syndrome? Why not just kill all babies that are imperfect and have special needs?

10:53 PM  
Blogger Dagrims said...

There's an interesting theory on the web positing that baby Trig is actually Sarah Palin's grandchild, and the son of her daughter Bristol.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Meade wrote...

"Why not kill all babies that are imperfect and have special needs?"

Talk about reducing a conversation down to meaningless particles...

Who's advocating abortion for all babies with special needs? I'm not making any statement regarding the morality of birthing a fetus with a disability... let alone assessing the fitness of an actual baby. I'm talking about Ms. Palin's use of said baby as a political symbol, and furthermore shirking her responsibility to the parenting commitments that she has made.

It's Machiavellian in the sense that it deliberately obfuscates the genuine issues in this race. It is deliberately designed to give the Christian Right false hope that a McCain Administration is going to make banning abortion a priority. That's obviously NOT the case, and if you think otherwise you haven't been following American politics very closely.

Abortion (like gay marriage) is simply a wedge issue. If the GOP managed to resolve these issues, they wouldn't have anything to hold over the heads of the Christian Right. They need those carrots to dangle.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

dagrims,

Yeah, I've seen that. I consider it a bit of a distraction from Palin's more glaring flaws. If it is true though, it will play havoc with the identity the GOP has created for her.

On the other hand, it's possible that the Christian Right will be even more inspired by her actions. It will also invalidate what I've been saying about Ms. Palin's screwed up priorities.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Meade said...

"...it will play havoc with the identity the GOP has created for her."

And if it's nothing more than lies and sexist rumor-mongering? What sort of havoc do you suppose that will play?

You guys are real class acts aren't you?

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

You idiot liberals and your conspiracy theories. Palin spoke in Dallas (where I live) just before her baby was born. She was obviously pregnant at the time.

You guys seem to be slipping. Now you can't even apply your "out-of-left-field" theories to topics that even matter.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

meade,

Who are you referring to? I didn't make up the rumors, nor have I asserted that they are true. Do you always address people as if they were representatives of some cohesive cabal you have imagined in your head?

2:24 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

steve,

See my response to meade.

Don't be a simpleton.

Why should I give your account any credence simply because you imply you were there? I haven't drawn any conclusions about these rumors so far, but I certainly won't be considering your input when I do. You've already identified yourself as a wingnut.

But believe me... whether or not Ms. Palin proves herself to be a liar is completely germane to the situation. She's running for national office. If she lied about this, then the McCain campaign will have a significant credibility gap.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Dagrims said...

I am a liberal after all, and I never knew it! See, merge?

Okay, back to bone up on my Muslim history so I can better understand the incoming President's religion.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Meade said...

"Do you always address people as if they were representatives of some cohesive cabal you have imagined in your head?"

No. I never do. You, however, say that Sarah Palin's identity is a creation of the GOP. Do you have any evidence of that or is it just something you've imagined in your own creative mind? Specifically, which parts of her identity have been created by the GOP? That she is the mother of 5 children, not 4?

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that here could be a rumor out there that it was not her child. Either it was or it wasn't, and it's hardly like verifying the existence of aliens or a Yeti.

Now, if we want to discuss the rumor that Barrack is about to run for the Presidency but would be legally ineligible to serve due to the strict rules for eligibility, that would be more interesting to me. Apparently there's some scholar in Philly (or maybe it was a lawyer, not sure) who's been advocating that position.

Just for discussion,

jg

10:00 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

meade,

Are you honestly telling me that you aren't aware that these campaigns don't create public identities for these candidates? That's just ludicrous, and I don't believe you sincerely believe that.

Her entire public persona is carefully crafted by her handlers and her party. That's essential for someone who is just entering the national stage. I think that you know very well that she has been crafted a "family values" identity, and that is exactly what I am calling into question.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

jg,

Well, believe me... there's plenty of speculation out there. Personally I think it's a distraction from the decisions she made regarding her infant son, and the relationship between her ambitions and her parental responsibilities.

As far as the Obama issue you bring up, simply share your sources. I'd be more than interested to see what you've learned from them.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I'm not implying that I was at her speech. However, it was covered in the local media and the story of her rushing back to Alaska to deliver her child were well-documented. I guess I'm a wing-nut for taking that story at face value.

Doesn't the fact that just a few months ago Joe Biden was saying Obama was ill-prepared for the presidency make him a liar? That would seem to have a more direct impact on the job at hand than a covert pregnancy. Why don't you address that?

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Joe Biden said Obama was ill-prepared to be President.
2. Obama selects the much-experienced Biden to serve as his running mate.
3. #1 is a mute point.
Next point?
jg

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Wow. Someone didn't learn their logical fallacies in high school. Go google "Non Sequitur" and then we'll talk.

And it's "moot point", you jackass.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

steve,

Y'know, when I come on to your polemical site and post a comment, I refrain from personal insults. It's just the respect that I think is due when I am a visitor in someone's "house".

The poster you have called a "jackass" did not call you a name. He addressed the substance of your post. Have some fucking respect, for god's sake if you won't do so out of a sense of personal decency.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

And to address your previous post...

Yes, you did imply that your were at the speech. You made a point to express that you live in that city to give credence to your suggestion that you would know something that we don't.

And no... you are a wingnut for writing things like "You idiot liberals and your conspiracy theories." And for assuming that everyone who has a dissenting opinion is a "liberal" in the first place.

So you introduced a non-sequiter, and then call someone a name for calling you on it. That's impressive, Steve.

The reason I don't cover the Biden claims about Obama's experience are many. Among them is the fact that he said these things while he was a political opponent of Obama's in the primary race, and because it has been extensively covered elsewhere...

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

"Polemical." Why? Because I posted a side-by-side comparsion of Obama's and Palin's qualifications? I'm sorry that using facts is viewed as a polemic strategy.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Steve,

Fine. What do you want to hear? "Your site is an excellent example of an objectivity so rarely encountered in this political climate." Sorry... that would be a complete lie.

Anyway, I'm at least heartened that you've accepted the "wingnut" moniker.

(Sorry if you saw the previous version of this comment. I got Steve's site confused with a similar polemical site that actually admits to enabling comment moderation to screen out responses from Obama supporters. Steve would likely never stoop to that level, right?)

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I never said my site was objective. However, you called it polemical. Polemical indicates that I'm disputing some sort of widely accepted notion or theory. What widely accepted notion am I disputing? That all conservatives are evil? That might be widely accepted in your circle of friends, but is by no means the norm across the country.

Secondly, I don't moderate the comments on my blog at all. You're free to say anything you'd like on there. Hell, you posted one of your entire columns on my blog and I didn't mind. From my experiences, it's the liberals who are much more likely to silence a dissenting opinion than the conservatives.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Steve,

"From my experiences, it's the liberals who are much more likely to silence a dissenting opinion than the conservatives."

That's interesting. See the post I wrote today for details on my experience. Anyway, despite your tendency to rely heavily on personal insult, I share your disdain of censorship.

As far as polemics are concerned, I think posts like your "Prominent Dems Ecstatic About Gustav" and "Sarah Palin Is More Qualified To Be President Than Barack Obama" and "Barack Wants to Disarm the United States" are all posts of yours that fall neatly under that category.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Each of those posts is supported with hard evidence. Two prominent Dems called Gustav a Godsend, which to me sounds like they're ecstatic. I provided the links to these comments. When I look at Palin's qualifications listed next to Obama's, I come to the conclusion she's more qualified. I provided the facts on that post too. As for Barack disarming our country, those words come directly from his mouth, not mine. Watch the video in that post.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

And each of those titles are meant to introduce a controversial argument that you attempt to make in your posts- thus, "polemical".

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve,

Thanks for the correction. I'm not in the habit of calling someone a jack-ass for inadvertently using a phrase, especially a fellow conservative, but if that's your style, so be it. However, now that I think of it, in your case, calling it a "mute point" might have been sufficiently appropriate. Lacking the power to articulate speech is very close to lacking the power to speak (and reason) articulatly. Note: see "irony".
jg

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merge,

Here is the link to the legal issue I referred to earlier:
http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/6524
jg

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

JG,

I took your comment out of context and I apologize for the jackass comment. This has been a very high-strung political weekend, of which, I'm sure you guys are full aware.

Merge,

I even appreciate your comments and participation on my blog, even though we're at opposite ends of the spectrum.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Steve,

I think you are revealing a genuine core of decency by posting your last comment.

I respect and appreciate that you are willing to engage in political discussions with people that you know disagree with you on many topics.

I also commend you for being committed to your previously expressed rejection of censorship. As I've written in my blog post for today, that has not been my general experience this weekend.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that abortion plays such a role in the political arena and debate? It's often reduced to if you're Pro-life, you have to be a Republican, and if you're pro-choice, you have to be a Democrat? The parties have any number of differences in platform and position, and yet that's the overwhelming talking point of the conservative Christian Right. I have been a life-long Republican, I have been and remain politically conservative, and yet I can't have what would be classified as a Pro-choice stance without being rejected as a conservative republican in today's world. Note: when I refer to myself as Pro-choice, my thoughts are clear on this...it's primarily a woman's decision, and a womens issue, and there are plenty of other issues I can take clear sides on. It is a very complicated issue at best. Frankly, the more vociferous the Christian Right is on this single issue as being the defining issue, the less I hear them when they speak of other issues, which seems to be pretty non-existent anyway. Can I no longer call myself a Republican?
jg

8:05 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

JG,

I would have thought that a McCain candidacy would have made every effort to accommodate a "Republican" like you. But with his choice of Sarah Palin, it appears that the GOP is still in the throes of the Theo-cons.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And just what is a "Republican" like me? Do you really know? I don't.
jg

7:59 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Well, I've known you personally for 38 years, and I certainly know your stands on most political issues...

And you call yourself a "republican", so there you go. I'm certain there are others out there in a similar position. If you want to outline your core values here, you are welcome to. I'm not going to do it for you.

9:10 PM  

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