Politrix: Title Already Taken

Back in April, I wrote a column about the Iraq war called, Smells Like Desperation. Looks like I should have held on to that title just a little longer, after witnessing the spectacle that is McCain’s vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin.

I started the long weekend early and was on the couch watching CNN on Friday morning, so I got to see McCain’s official announcement live. But before he mentioned her name, before she trotted out her family, ponytail thingy bouncing, I knew something was wrong. Did anyone else hear McCain say, “She knows who she works for”? (Seriously. See it at 7 minutes and 37 seconds.) I was so overwhelmed by the truth of that statement that I couldn’t help but shout out, “You!” like a lost Young Republican caught up in the rapture.

I guess he likes that she supports increased oil drilling (more money!), is married to a steelworker (she’s just like you!) and a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association (guns for everyone!). Yup, she panders to the members of his party who criticize him as not being conservative enough, and perhaps redeems for him not knowing how many homes he owns. Oh, and then there’s the whole she’s a chick thing.

I could have gotten over the fact that McCain picked a woman because he thought it would help him pick up voters who felt abandoned when Hillary suspended her campaign; it’s just indicative of the poorly considered reactionary politics that have marked his bid since February. But when it became clear that he choose a woman who is far from “ready to serve on day one,” I was insulted.

Talk about a token. This woman is closing in on her first year as governor of Alaska, after serving as the chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (2003 – 2004), then completing two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (1996 – 2002), and two terms on the city council (1992 – 1996). Nope, I didn’t leave anything out; that’s it. How dare he pick this woman? There are 25 Republican women in Congress who anyone could argue are more qualified to occupy the number two spot on this ticket than this lame duck. He didn’t even grab someone from a state that matters for November; Alaska has just three Electoral College votes and already skews Republican. And we’re not even going to delve into the fact that she’s under investigation for abusing her power back home. (How funny is it that they refer to her husband as the “First Gentleman” in this clip?)

But what shoved me over the line from insulted to appalled was a quick dig into her stances on women’s rights issues. I’ll be damned if they’re not right in line with McCain’s voting record. FYI, he has voted against making insurance plans cover birth control; against comprehensive sex education; against family planning funding worldwide; against programs to prevent unplanned pregnancies; and against public education for emergency contraception.

Back to Palin: This woman is so vehemently opposed to abortion that she said in a debate that if her own daughter (the 17-year-old, five-months pregnant Bristol, I presume) were raped, she would make her have the baby. In an ironic twist, she also supports abstinence-only lessons in school-which even a government-backed study found to be a failure-and rumors abound that her 4-month old son actually belongs to Bristol. (For the record, I have no idea whose kid it is, and an older woman is more likely to deliver a child with Down Syndrome than a teenager.) She has also sided with McCain in his lack of support for an Obama-backed law that would have made it easier for women to secure equal pay for equal work, and even tried to push through appointments of known sexual harassers. And she and her running mate both want to reverse Roe v. Wade. Even the National Organization for Women has denounced her nomination. Call me a broken, partisan feminist if you want, but I’m just smart enough to know that being on the right side of the issues is more important than having a vagina.

But in the end, I am heartened by this pick. I’ve always believed that this election belongs to Barack Obama, and this miscalculation makes it an even easier contest to win. What do you think?


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Last 5 posts by kenrya

  • Thaisa G.

    As I sat in the salon on Friday, getting my hair “popped”, we all sat in silence waiting to hear who McCain was going to snag for his VP. There were rumors he has going to select a woman, so when we heard she…all blow dryers stopped waiting to hear the name. We sat still anxioulsy waiting to see what woman was about to make history. Though it was a room full of Obama supporters, on the south side of Chicago, just minutes from his home, it was also a room full of women. Sarah Palin was the name we all heard and confusion was the look we all shared! I immediately got to thumbing away on my Blackberry trying to figure out who she was. When I began to read the articles to the room, there was an immediate silence that was soon followed by absolute anger. Not only was this woman against everything we stood for as WOMEN, not Democrats, but she seemed like she was the perfect McCain puppet. How dare he try and pass off this woman as someone who was going to satisfy the Hillary supporters! Under this ticket we’d have more unwanted pregnancies, more STDs, and I’m gonna bet my right foot more deaths related to illegal abortions. There are really so many issues with Palin that I just can’t believe McCain was in his right mind when he chose her, that or he’s tired and is pretty much trying to hand the seat to Obama (which is fine with me). However, I think the best fact I’ve heard is that she has only had her passport for a year. And yet this is the woman we want to send to represent our country regarding foreign relations. Can he at least get someone who isn’t going to look like a tourist when she gets off of the plane?! This is going to be an interessting two months. October 2nd is the VP debate…Biden is going to eat her alive!

  • TAhad

    Looks like the Roosters are gathering to hatch some eggs. I thought incest was against the law. Palin may be a long generation of D.S lineage.