The election nears, and I have to admit, the most interesting thing to me right now is Sarah Palin. I've already talked about her and her stance on women's reproductive rights, but I can't stop there. Things tumble from the media outlets that I cannot ignore: her complete ignorance of the Bush Doctrine (see above), combining prayer and policy, inquiring about banning books, accepting extravagant gifts from Big Oil... If John McCain thinks this woman is fit to be Vice President, he isn't fit to be President.
The LA Times has a great piece on Palin and her bizarre career in the public eye. I say bizarre, because she is outspoken about certain issues, like abortion, but often fails to follow up on her rhetoric:
As governor and in her formative role as mayor of Wasilla, Palin has trod carefully between her evangelical faith and public policy on issues such as abortion and library books. At times she has retreated when her moves have sparked controversy or proved politically impractical.
She has harnessed the political muscle of social conservatives and antiabortion groups, yet she did not push hard for a special legislative session on abortion, and she did not challenge a court ruling that allowed health insurance for same-sex partners of state workers.
Essentially, we have a politician who says whatever will get her elected, but won't actually do anything that will affect her approval rating. I simply cannot respect this behavior; if you say you believe in something, you should put your money where your mouth is. Perhaps Mrs. Palin was simply too busy shooting moose or riding her ATV to do anything more than spout anti-abortion rhetoric.
Another red flag from the archives: upon being elected governor, she refused to work with her assigned gubernatorial mentor. Mentors exist to build relationships and serve as advisers. I worry about a person who can only be described by her mentor as "nice":
"I think most people who have met her think she's very pleasant and a nice person to be around," Rounds said. "She's just a very nice person. She's quiet and doesn't say a whole lot unless you ask her specific questions, and then she'll share with you what her thoughts are."Her thoughts include equating proximity to Siberia to foreign policy experience with Russia:
"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska," she said. "It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state."
To end on a positive note, a quarter I normally consider less than intelligent on political issues--Hollywood--is at least smart enough to reject Miss Wasilla's official act:
"I don’t think I would want her running the country.... I’m not going to vote for her because she’s a woman.
-- Eva Longoria on TV's "Extra"
"This woman hates women.…She is not a feminist. She is not the woman that's going to come behind Hillary Clinton and do anything that Hillary Clinton would've been capable of.... I can't imagine overturning Roe vs. Wade. She's not of this time. The woman terrifies me."
“I think there’s a really good chance that Sarah Palin could be president, and I think that’s a really scary thing, 'cause I don’t know anything about her -- I don’t think in eight weeks I’m going to know anything about her. I know that she was a mayor of a really, really small town and she’s the governor for Alaska for less than two years. I just don’t understand. I think the pick was made for political purposes.... Do the actuary tables and there’s a 1 out of 3 chance, if not more, that [John] McCain doesn’t survive his first term and it’ll be President Palin…. It’s like a really bad Disney movie. The hockey mom, you know, ‘Oh, I’m just a hockey mom’… and she’s facing down President Putin [of Russia]…. It’s totally absurd …. It’s a really terrifying possibility.”
-- Matt Damon
It is a terrifying possibility, particularly when you do consider the chances of McCain dying in office. Or even if you consider the amazing amount of power that a Vice President can wield now, thanks to Dick Cheney. This is a woman who thrives on personal gain and grudges. Do you really want her finger "on the button" when John McCain is having his annual colonoscopy?