Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't Hold It In Any Longer

I promised that when I talked about politics it would be in a restrained, well-reasoned, thought-out post. Well, it turns out I don't have time for that and if I hold back any longer from talking about Sarah Palin I fear that I may explode.

First let's start with one of the best SNL openers in a long time, featuring Tina Fey as an eerily perfect Sarah Palin:



Okay, laughing over. Why in the HELL are people excited about her as VP? I absolutely do not understand. Women in general should be insulted by the pick. McCain's advisors seem to think that women are interchangeable, but I'm pretty sure the former Hilary supporters are not so easily fooled. And far from being a step forward for feminism, it's a step back. She was picked specifically because she is a woman, not because the was the best candidate for the job who just happened to be female; there is no way a man with her same political resume (or lack of one) would have made it to the short list, much less be the final pick. The comments from within her own party about her appearance are demeaning (Limbaugh calling her a "babe", interviews of people leaving the convention summing up her credentials as being "one pretty lady", etc.), all of which make the recent Republican ad attacking the Democrats for belittling her rather ridiculous- although it makes me happy to think this is all they have to go on the offensive about. (And, if Karl Rove is saying your ads have gone too far and are beyond the "100% truth test" you should really stop and wonder how much of a "straight talker" you are. You should also avoid denigrating community service when it's part of your campaign slogan. Oh, and she did not "kill" the Bridge to Nowhere, it was already dead, and then she kept the $223 million from the appropriation. Argh! OK, exiting the parenthetical.)

But really, her being a woman has almost nothing to do with my thoughts (and fears) about her as a candidate. It's her striking similarities between Bush and her inextricable popularity that have me scared. After eight years of bumbling inexperience, doesn't America want someone who knows something about politics, foreign policy, economics, the Constitution, etc.? Her interview with Charlie Gibson revealed a frightening lack of foreign policy knowledge, especially given how much she had to have been prepped for her first unscripted televised experience. (For a good write-up of it from a law and international relations masters student, read here.) I realize she's only a V.P. and in general V.P.'s just wait in the wings, but she's waiting in the wings of the oldest man to be elected for his first term, and I think her selection reflects negatively on the man we're actually voting for. This article from the Economist summed it up nicely, "Mr McCain has based his campaign on the idea that this is a dangerous world—and that Barack Obama is too inexperienced to deal with it. He has also acknowledged that his advanced age—he celebrated his 72nd birthday on August 29th—makes his choice of vice-president unusually important. Now he has chosen as his running mate, on the basis of the most cursory vetting, a first-term governor of Alaska.

[paragraphs omitted]

The political calculations behind Mr McCain’s choice hardly look robust. Mrs Palin is not quite the pork-busting reformer that her supporters claim. She may have become famous as the governor who finally killed the infamous “bridge to nowhere”—the $220m bridge to the sparsely inhabited island of Gravina, Alaska. But she was in favour of the bridge before she was against it (and told local residents that they weren’t “nowhere to her”). As mayor of Wasilla, a metropolis of 9,000 people, she initiated annual trips to Washington, DC, to ask for more earmarks from the state’s congressional delegation, and employed Washington lobbyists to press for more funds for her town.

[paragraphs omitted]

Inexperienced and Bush-level incurious. She has no record of interest in foreign policy, let alone expertise. She once told an Alaskan magazine: “I’ve been so focused on state government; I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.” She obtained an American passport only last summer to visit Alaskan troops in Germany and Kuwait. This not only blunts Mr McCain’s most powerful criticism of Mr Obama. It also raises serious questions about the way he makes decisions."

And here's another mention of the similarities between Bush and Palin from conservative David Frum, the President's former speech-writer: "George W. Bush had very slight executive experience before becoming president. His views were not well known. He won the nomination exactly in the same way that Palin has won the hearts of so many conservatives: by sending cultural cues to convince them that he was one of them, understood them, sympathized with them. So that made everything else irrelevant in 2000 - as it seems again to be doing in 2008." Frum also admits that Bush lacked "important aspects of leadership which is how we got into the mess from which he needed to rescue the country and himself." (quoted from the article, "George Bush in Lipstick")

I realize this post doesn't get at policy, though it appears that I disagree with her on just about everything: being pro-life no matter what, abstinence only education, teaching creationism in public schools, total environmental irresponsibility (ex: global warming isn't man made and the way to reduce our dependency on foreign oil is to drill into our own limited reserves rather than explore alternatives), and fiscal irresponsibility (inheriting a small town with zero debt and leaving it with $20 million, even after increasing taxes. Source). And there's things I admire about Sarah Palin - she's a strong woman, raising a family, and pursuing a career that matters to her. I just can't imagine her "a heartbeat away from the presidency" and don't understand how a party that was all up in arms about Obama's experience a month ago is suddenly explaining away their VP's lack of it. When I heard the news of her pick, I was elated- I thought for sure this would hand the election to Obama. All I kept hearing about from my Republican friends was Obama's lack of experience and the vast majority of Americans claim to want a change from Bush, and yet Palin has brought the presidential race to an apparent dead heat. I misunderstood America in 2004 when Bush was reelected - it didn't even occur to me to be worried that he'd stay in power, and it appears I'm confused again.

I sincerely hope, for a lot of reasons, that Obama/Biden win in November. Until then I'll continue reading about politics, donating to Obama, arguing with JP (who, in case you're curious, is completely disgusted with both McCain and Palin and has decided to abstain from voting for any party which I think is wrong because someone is going to be President and you as an informed citizen have a duty to select the person you think is best - or least worst - from the options available), and possibly writing things here, though now that I have my Palin frustration out of my system, I may be able to stick to posting about noncontroversial things like airplane seats and breastfeeding (kidding, there's no way I'm touching those again). Sometime before the election I really would like to write about my thoughts on the major issues and why I hold them- I could send it to my dad to prove this Democrat thing is not a phase and it would be helpful to me to explain and justify my views, but that will probably take way more free time than I have at my disposal. (This post is brought to you courtesy of a bad cold that's kept me home from work without a baby, billables, or anything good on TV.)

Oh, and my previous discussion about deleting negative comments applies to my personal career and family choices, not my politics. I look forward to reading your own views, disagreements, and/or explanations as to Palin's appeal (or McCain's for that matter).

51 comments:

  1. Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm seriously stumped at how she has any appeal.

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  2. I suppose this means that family is all well and accounted for after Ike. Good. Formalities finished...EXACTLY! EXACTLY! EXACTLY! EXACTLY!!! (I'm done now)

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  3. Well said! I am so very nervous about this election. I have nothing to add, you summed up my thoughts very nicely.

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  4. I will only say that on the policy issue of "teaching creationism in schools" you are wrong. Sarah Palin has never suggested nor proposed any legislation that adds creationism to the public school curriculum. She made an off hand comment once during a debate while running for Governor. The comment implied that if the debate between creationism and evolution is brought up in school it should not be discouraged, I researched her heavily on this and I know I am right.

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  5. Bravo! Well said!

    If McCain wins, I am going to be unbelievably disillusioned by the political process and the judgment of my fellow Americans. Even moreso than in 2004. At least in 2004, it wasn't quite as glaringly obvious that the Iraq war never should have happened. Now the majority of Americans believe the war should never have happened, and yet want to stick someone in Washington as second in command who believes it's a mission from God and that Iraq has a connection to 9/11.

    I think JP should vote for Obama! But I do understand not wanting to vote for someone you view just as the lesser of two evils. One of our senators is a GOP windbag who's needed to get kicked out of office for an eternity already. (Actually, that's both of our senators, but only one is up for re-election.) However, his contender from the Democratic party isn't any better. He even endorsed our jerk-off former governor over a much more qualified (and less corrupt) Democratic candidate! I supported a different candidate in the primary, mostly because I didn't want him as our candidate, this guy might as well be a Republican. I'm really torn, because we need to "ditch" our windbag senator, but I don't want this other guy to be the Democrat to do it. Especially since the retention rate for Congress is incredibly high, we'll never get rid of him. Anyway, I've considered just not voting in that race, because I feel like I can't in good conscience cast a vote for either candidate. Maybe I'll just write-in a candidate!

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  6. If it makes you feel any better those of us on the flipside cannot imagine how anyone could vote for an Obama/Biden ticket. That's what makes politics so interesting. It is all in the issues that are important to you.

    I don't believe abortion should be legal especially late term. There is absolutely no valid medical reason for a late term abortion. Trust me I did research on it and you don't want to read the articles or see the pictures I saw when I googled it looking for a valid medical reason to justify something so horrific. I worked at a Rape Crisis center as a volunteer and as an employee and in the 4 years I was there I didn't see one pregnancy result from the rapes. I am not saying it doesn't happen but it is a lot less than people make it out to be. The women were also offered the option of the morning after pill at the rape exam which I have no issues with.

    I don't see a problem with teaching creationism any more than offering the other alternative explanations. I find the idea of the Big Bang as ridiculous as many people find creationism. I can't wrap my mind around the idea that everything on this earth came from nothing and that everything can be explained by science.

    As for teaching sex education I really don't see how it is the school's responsibilty to teach my kid how to put a condom on a banana. I managed to go to the free clinic and get myself on birth control when I was in high school. My parents bought my sister condoms and yet she still got pregnant at 17. Mistakes are made, kids do stupid things. Perhaps if it wasn't so easy to "fix" the problem down at Planned Parenthood or by signing up for WIC/welfare they might be a little more cautious about getting pregnant in the first place. What ever happened to consquences for your actions?

    Palin practices what she preaches. She sent her son off to the army even in the midst of a war. She supported her teenage daughter when she got pregnant rather than quietly shuttling her off to the abortion clinic. She gave birth to a down syndrome baby when 90% of those babies are aborted in the U.S. She doesn't take the easy way out. The fact that she has done all this says more to me than whether she has enough experience. There are a lot of people with a lot political experience and no character or integrity. Again, it is all in what you value.

    I could go on but I realize my comments are getting way too long. I support your right to vote for whomever you feel is the best candidate but realize that there are those of us on the other side who are just as passionate about our candidate.

    P.S. You know I still love you and your blog =)

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  7. kmc- yes, I know you're right about it being an offhand comment, and I probably shouldn't have phrased it as "teaching creationism" though being more correct would have made an already long sentence longer. However, I still disagree with her comment about having it taught or even mentioned along with evolution or anything else in a secular curriculum. It's purely religious doctrine and even if I believe it, and I actually do to some extent, I don't think it should be in public schools. All that said, I can handle creationism having some role in the classroom if it means we can stop the dangerous joke that is abstinence only education.

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  8. My dad is McCain's contemporary and daily says "I know what 72 feels like and John McCain looks like he feels worse than I do." My mother is a Radiation Oncologist and is deeply concerned about his survival after 3 cancer trials.

    Personally, I don't like Obama (he and his wife "bug" me) or Biden (I'm still fuming over his Indian joke).

    So, I'm with JP on not wanting to vote.

    But I will vote...for the lesser of 2 evils...the democratic ticket.

    --Desimom

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  9. I understand where JP is coming from (ending this sentence with a preposition, I know).

    I wonder, though, if he thinks, given the state of our nation as of late, this might be an election where one who isn't thrilled with either candidate might be moved to "pick an issue" and vote on it alone (or primarily?)? For those among us tied to the financial sector (and who are not passionate about either party's offering), would it be reckless to evaluate each candidate's economic policies and pick the one we think we do better in that category?

    I don't know the answer, but I thought I'd bring up the possibility.

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  10. I shouldn't have said "evils." But you know what I mean...just a simple homemaker's opinion here.
    --Desimom

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  11. After 2004 I have little faith in the ability of the American majority to vote on any other basis than "who would I rather have a beer with."

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  12. Someone being me- I suggest you visit Cecily as someone who had a late term, needed though not wanted abortion. It is rare, but sometimes necessary.

    http://www.uppercasewoman.com/wastedbirthcontrol/2004/10/index.html

    I honestly don't want to argue abortion with anyone, I believe it's a deeply personal choice.

    LL, agree with you 100%. I am so hoping for an Obama win.

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  13. LL,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm trying not to obsess about the weight gain too much. If I was at my "fighting weight" (i.e., my 1L weight) I don't think I'd obsess as much. But I'm totally committed to making sure my baby gets what he/she needs, so I'll just work extra hard on the back-end if necessary.

    To comment on this post on your blog, all the Sarah Palin hype is driving me crazy, too!!! I just don't get it????

    FSD

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  14. Finally!
    Someone saying something that makes sense to me!
    .

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  15. Thank you, LL! And I'm glad JP won't be voting for McCain/Palin (and am hoping he'll come around to voting for Obama/Biden).

    Someone being me, I understand your feelings on the abortion issue. But how about the war and the economy and all the other issues that impact our lives?

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  16. That is about the only good thing I can think of to say about Sarah Palin as a political leader: she isn't a hypocrite. However, that certainly doesn't make up for her being incompetent.

    One comment to make about the abortion issue, though. The anti-choice lobby often promotes the image of perfectly healthy, full formed babies being murdered to invoke emotion into the abortion debate. What they fail to mention is only about 5% of abortions are conducted late term, and the majority of those are for medical reasons, either the mother or the fetus. There aren't a bunch of women going out and getting abortions at 28 weeks because they forgot to take their birth control. That just isn't happening.

    In my state, abortions are not legal past the second trimester, nor is it in the surrounding states. Even so, in a city of a quarter of a million people, we only have two physicians who perform abortions, and neither will even do second term abortions. (Emergency situations being the exception, of course.)

    I just can't imagine voting for a candidate solely because they *say* they agree with my social views, especially those that the candidates really only give lip service to and don't even do anything about. I'm a staunch supporter of gay rights, but the reality is that Obama isn't going to push through an amendment to legalize gay marriage. Nor is McCain going to get Roe v. Wade overturned, even if he's suddenly blowing smoke that he will (and trying to reinforce it by picking an anti-choice VP).

    What's important are the realities of what they can accomplish, and the limitations of what they can't. Frankly, Sarah Palin can spout off all she wants to about creationism and dinosaurs and whatever else craziness she might or might not personally believe, but she has nothing to do with school curriculum. She can be as crazy right wing as she wants to be on abortion, she won't be writing any supreme court opinions. However, she will have contact with foreign leaders and be involved in national security decisions. That's what concerns me. I am concerned too, about her views on global warming and the environment, because those are policies that a VP can influence.

    Oh, and since I'm on my liberal soapbox, creationism just doesn't belong in school. I'm Catholic, I want my child taught religion by me and the Church, not as part of a science curriculum. Science explains *how* the universe was created; religion explains *why.*

    Okay, off the soapbox and back to homework. (Much less interesting than politics.)

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  17. Well put. I am in the JP camp, and am so disillusioned with our political system and the candidates (and disagree with both on many issues ... especially the ones that I think will affect my life, basically economic and foreign policy) that I probably won't vote for a presidential candidate from either major party; however, as a former Republican, I'm appalled by both McCain and Palin. One commentator put it well by saying that the surge in McCain (and Palin's) popularity was due to her charisma and the buzz, but once the public gets back to the issues, McCain will go down in the polls. I think after Lehman and Merrill, that HAS to be true. If it's not, I think Americans are hopeless.
    I would much prefer to hear about how the candidates are going to turn around the economy and what is going to happen to the tax rate and government spending than whether a candidate is pro-life or pro-choice and whether a mother can be a VP.
    Anyway, I look forward to more posts to come!

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  18. Another election year where I find myself voting against someone instead of for someone.

    While I wish McCain had picked someone with more experience (and less conservative-ness) for VP, I disagree that Palin was picked just because she was a woman. That would be like saying Obama picked Biden hoping to attract people who were interested in McCain's ticket due to the fact that he's an old guy in the Senate. I think she was picked to help McCain reel in the uber-conservatives, which she seems to be.

    I also think it's funny that the same democrats who defend Obama's lack of experience have no problem pointing out Palin's. Yes, they're both inexperienced but only one of them is running for president. (thank god, because as much as I do kind of like Palin I don't like the thought of her as president, but I like the idea of Obama as president even less).

    Either way I can't wait for November because the closer we get to this election the less I like both sides. Unfortunately I find myself too liberal to be a republican and too conservative to be a democrat and I hate that there are only two options that seem to be reaching as far to their respective sides as possible. I'm not going to abstain from voting though. I'm going to vote McCain and hope to hell he can hang in there for at least the next four years.

    I seriously never intended to leave a comment this long. But I can't seem to make myself shut up!

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  19. Someone being me wrote: There is absolutely no valid medical reason for a late term abortion.

    I have to disagree. If there is a threat to the mother's life, then there ABSOLUTELY is a valid medical reason. Additionally, if the child has a congenital defect that means they will not survive outside the womb, who is ANYONE to say what choice you would make in that instance? "Late term" as a time frame cannot be agreed upon by the medical community, but generally is thought to be over 20 weeks gestation. A mother who develops pre-eclampsia at 21 weeks may need to deliver or abort her babies in order to save her life. At 21w, those babies are NOT viable outside the womb.

    Out of curosity regarding your research, I googled "medical reason late term abortion" and of course the first page was all about how mothers are selfish and only abort late term because they are terrible people. In contrast, here are two articles about the other side of the coin: http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/2046/ and http://www.abortionisprolife.com/statistics.htm.

    Personally, I am appalled that anyone would have the right to tell me what to do with my body, here in America. Not that I have a strong opinion about that or anything ;)

    I also think that if one more person says that Palin has more experience than Obama, I might punch something.

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  20. Erin, you of course realize that McCain is 72 years old and has had cancer several times. So, as much as you hope McCain will hang in there if elected, there is a chance that he won't.

    Also, you may argue that both Palin and Obama are inexperienced. But Obama has been under the spotlight for some time now and we know how he thinks and what he thinks about major issues. Palin, on the other hand, is very new on the national stage and we don't know much about her. And with the turn the McCain/Palin campaign has taken, I doubt we will really learn the truth about her (at least from her) during the next few weeks.

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  21. I couldn't have said it better. Thank you!

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  22. "After eight years of bumbling inexperience, doesn't America want someone who knows something about politics, foreign policy, economics, the Constitution, etc.?" Yes, which is why I'm voting for MCCAIN, not Obama. You are arguing against Palin as if SHE'S the presidential nominee, not McCain. Are you forgetting that Obama is also woefully inexperienced, a person who has done exactly what you accuse Palin and Bush of doing (getting down on the level of the people and identifying with them). Obama has great charisma. Period. And talking about the people in rural PA as "clinging" to their religion, just waiting for the government to come in and make their lives better? Pure ignorance. Couldn't do a better job at showing how truly out of touch with "the people" that he is. I don't want my comment to turn into a whole post, so I'll end now.

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  23. "After eight years of bumbling inexperience, doesn't America want someone who knows something about politics, foreign policy, economics, the Constitution, etc.?"

    anon - Obama is a brilliant man, a lawyer, went to Harvard Law School, TAUGHT Constitutional law - are you really arguing that he doesn't know anything about politics, economics, the Constitution?

    Also, you just argued in 1 paragraph that Obama both "identifies" with the people and is "out of touch" with the people. Can't have it both ways.

    It's true that LL is focusing on Palin when McCain is the actual candidate, but I think many people view his choice of Palin as running mate as one that discredits him in his effort to become president.

    -sarah

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  24. Sarah - the argument that I was trying to make was that Obama was trying to be in touch with "the people", but has failed, in my opinion. It should also be noted that I don't find his choice of Palin a bad one; it certainly has increased his ratings so, clearly, it was a good political move. I'm also not offended, as some feel I "should" be as a woman. I don't feel like McCain was trying to hide the fact that he chose a woman to sway some of the Hillary supporters - the motivation was pretty transparent. It's politics. If someone takes his choice of a woman as a personal offense, then that person has some very low self-esteem.

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  25. proto attorney, I believe we are on the same side here, but I think you underestimate the danger that Roe v. Wade would be in if McCain were president. Right now, the Supreme Court is probably 5-4 in favor of upholding it, but Justice Stevens is 88 years old. If he retires during a Republican presidency, then that vote for Roe is almost certaintly gone.

    True, without Roe, abortion wouldn't become illegal automatically. Each state would decide for itself how to regulate abortion, so it would be legal in some states and illegal in others. But I don't want to take that chance.

    -Megan

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  26. Love your blog, and I completely agree (I was crying watching SNL on Saturday night. Behold the comic genius of Tina Fey!). I DO NOT GET the fascination with Sarah Palin and if one more person tells me that a "woman will be in the white house" well, I just want to smack them.

    This election scares me. I think the world is looking at us, hoping we make the right choice, and I think the world is thinking that McCain/Palin isn't it.

    Also, Someone Being Me, whether or not you agree with abortion isn't the issue - do you AGREE that women should be able to have the choice? Absolutely. I never want to make such a heartwrenching decision for anyone, and I fully believe in our ability to make our own decisions in life.

    Oh, I live in South Carolina. My vote for Obama will be overruled by the chaos that is the Electoral College.

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  27. The fact that the choice of Palin has won McCain votes doesn't mean that it is a sign of good judgment. You could probably pay people for their votes ("a good political move"), but it doesn't mean that that decision would make you the best leader for your country.
    -Sarah

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  28. I dunno, I question whether McCain would really deliver on appointing a Scalia clone to the Supreme Court. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think that comment he made back in 2000 about wanting to overturn Roe v Wade, but that making abortion inaccessible to women would endanger women's lives, is a bit telling. There's a difference in voting for laws that narrow abortion rights, and making sure it's outright illegal.

    I think that's the case with Chief Justice Roberts. He acknowledged there is a constitutional right to privacy, something that makes Scalia cry at night. I also don't think Alito would outright overturn Roe v. Wade either. I think they'll both continue to narrow those rights, which definitely will hurt women, especially impoverished and disadvantaged women, but I don't see the anti-choice lobby getting Roe v. Wade overturned.

    It's an interesting topic. Someone smarter than me should thoroughly analyze all this. But I think most of the "pro-life" politicians do just enough to make the anti-choice lobby happy so they keep getting elected, and the rest of the time don't give a crap.

    Oh, and on a different topic altogether: I think both Palin and Obama have enough experience to enter the White House. Obama has been a Con Law prof, community organizer, attorney, state legislator, and senator. Palin has been a mayor and governor. I think that's adequate experience to become elected president. Experience isn't everything. Dick Cheney has a bazillion years of experience. It doesn't make him suck any less.

    What I don't think Palin has is adequate knowledge of what's going on in the country, and especially not the rest of the world, nor adequate judgment to make good decisions. She's disinterested and incurious, in the same scary way as George W. Bush. Also, in looking at Palin's actions as mayor and governor, I find her less than effective as a leader, making choices to pursue her own agenda instead of choices that better the people she is supposed to lead.

    Most importantly though, I think the ridiculous things that McCain has been saying and doing lately are a clear indication of what kind of leader he will be.

    I encourage everyone to go to factcheck.org, a nonpartisan political website devoted to sifting through the spin and the deception. The vast majority of posts have to deal with the crap coming from the McCain campaign. That coupled with his recent comments on our economy, his plan for our health care system (which is pretty much nothing), and the fact that even Greenspan said the numbers for his tax cut plan don't work (and I wonder whose taxes will get raised when he figures that out... I'm willing to bet it ain't the rich). Add that to the fact he snubbed several highly qualified Republican women, and just as many highly qualified socially conservative men, in favor of choosing Palin who is frighteningly unqualified, just shows his incredible lack of judgment.

    Sorry, I wrote a book again.

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  29. I don't want to just add to the noise since most of what I would say has already been said. This will suffice: While I respect and can understand why Palin running for *president* is cause for alarm to some people, Obama running for the same position but even less relevant experience is cause for even greater alarm.

    And I haven't even addressed his positions on things like partial birth abortion (even more radical than NARAL), etc.

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  30. I find myself in such a strange position as both a lifelong Democrat and someone that does not care for Obama. I honestly don't understand why so many people like him, in the same way you don't understand why people like Palin. I don't know what happened to me or why I am immune from getting excited about him, but I am not. This is the first time in my life where I am considering either staying home or voting for a Republican.

    While I don't agree with many of Palin's policy positions, I also don't think she is grossly underqualified either. She seems to have done pretty well for herself so far. Also, she is on the bottom of the ticket, not the top like Obama. Overall, I think it is a huge mistake for Dems to get focused on her rather than McCain and why he is wrong for the country.

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  31. I have absolutely nothing constructive to add. Basically just, "YEAH. WHAT LL SAID." The. End.

    And, not to rock the boat, but: Re: Rare and wrenching reasons for legal abortion after the 2nd trimester. Please go read about Lydia:

    http://luchalee.wordpress.com/

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  32. When I decided to educate myself on Palin, I was very open minded. I read the wikipedia article about her and thought, "wtf- exactly WHAT qualifies her to be VP?" I just can't figure it out. The country has gone nuts...

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  33. BiologistMomofThree9/17/08, 9:20 AM

    Thank you for another eloquent post LL.
    I would just like to add a comment on the fact that people (with very little information really known about her at this point) want to believe that Palin is "not a hypocrite". However, not only did she initially support the "bridge to nowhere" until it became a political joke, and has pushed for an absurd amount of pork per capita in her state since being elected, a news article today she supports a $600m bridge to her hometown of Wasilla (pop 7,000). It was sponsored by an Alaskan representative (Young)and is exactly the kind of earmark she claims to be against (to her HOMETOWN). McCain called Young's bill a "monstrosity" and "terrifying in its fiscal consequences", at least he did before he selected her.

    I'm happy to see so many Americans excited about seeing a woman in (or VERY close) to the White House, as we've seen in this campaign. However, as one man is not like another man and so on, all women are not equally prepared for the role of presidency.

    Experience may seem lacking in both candidates, but Palin's supporters should consider(as objectively as possible) the fact that one candidate has a degree from Columbia and an advanced degree from Harvard, became the 1st African American to serve as President of the Law Review, and went on to inspire tens of thousands as he served those at the lowest levels of society (wait, isnt' that the conservative view of how we should live? I get confused), and has served as a state and then federal Senator for over ten years. The other candidate went to five universities in six years and graduated with a Journalism degree. [It's not a matter of elitism, I went to a state university for three degrees in about that same amt of time]

    She was elected mayor by well under 1,000 individuals in each election and then made a swift move to Governer in a state ashamed of the whole bridge debacle, among other issues. The number of people in my county exceeds the population of Alaska (although I live in a small town myself so again no offense intended). I love Alaska and respect its people, but lets not ignore the numbers in our ruminations people. She has risen to her position based on a very small number of Americans and has not had the level of scrutiny (to ANY extent)the other candidates have. With McCain's age, we cannot ignore the fact that she has a good chance of becoming President if McCain doesn't survive his term (3X chemo already).


    I'll agree they are both good speakers, at least with regard to prepared speeches. I wasn't very impressed with the ONLY live interview I've seen of her since she was selected as VP candidate.
    No more whining about attacks on her, she herself said that about Hillary Clinton when she was running.

    My apologies for such a long comment. I've been thinking of starting a blog! I should motivate on that.

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  34. Sarah Palin may not have come out and said she wants creationism taught in schools but in the event that she succeeds to the presidency, she will appoint judges who will twist the Constitution (via THEIR preferred brand of interpretation) to make the teaching of said "theory" possible.

    It's nice to know the country that birthed umpteen excellent state and private schools is willing to become the laughingstock of the world's educated community because some people don't understand how "something comes from nothing". I'd refer said individual back to elementary physics.

    What blows my mind in all of this is that China and India have effectively put all of us on notice that they have superpower based ambitions.

    And people in the richest country in the world don't understand the concept of a carbon half life because MATH IS HARD. And science is TOO HARD omg the hadron collider is going to eat us all.

    Half of me gloats because dumbasses like that make it easier for my kid to get into Harvard. The other half of me is just sad.

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  35. I was so disappointed by this post. I read your blog religiously - it is the first thing I pull up everyday. I have so enjoyed "virtually" getting to know you, Landon and JP. And I understand that it is a personal blog, so you have every right to discuss your political views. I just wish that so much of politics didn't involve bashing/tearing apart the opposing candidates. Though I will definitely miss you - I won't be back to visit.

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  36. Wow, monkey... you sure are an elitist, arrogant one, aren't you? I find it so hypocritical; that most Democrats talk about tolerance yet are SO intolerant and judgemental towards conservatives.

    Could someone please explain this inconsistency to me? It seems to have turned into a case of Republicans = dumb, simple, slow
    Democrats = smart, bright, superior

    What happened to everyone being entitled to their own opinion? I am appalled by the hypocrisy.

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  37. TxMommy,

    I'm sorry that you won't be reading anymore, and it's unfortunate that I've disappointed you, but I do not think I was bashing or tearing apart Sarah Palin. I wrote about my concerns and confusions regarding her role as Republican VP candidate, and I quoted facts or other sources when I could. And I wasn't being flip when I said there were things I admired about her, I just don't understand her popularity or her sudden rise to potentially being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    I think it's important to talk about politics and not just ignore a discussion because you disagree with the person doing the discussing. It's unfortunate you won't be back., but it is my blog and I write about politics far less than I think, read, or talk about them.

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  38. To the latest anonymous,

    I agree that Monkey's comment was unnecessarily abrasive, but I also think think there is an equal amount of intolerance and stereotyping done on both sides of the political spectrum.

    And to the extent that Republicans are viewed as "dumb, simple, slow" (your words), don't you think they had a hand in being seen that way? In the last few years they've worked hard to be the party of candidates you want to have a beer with. Bush played into that 100% and it won him two elections. Being folksy, praising "small town America" repeatedly when none of those candidates are actually from small towns (the Bush family is about as Northeast blue blood as you can get) has been part of their strategy. I don't think many people actually view Republicans as dumb - the party is made up of an awful lot of education, tax-averse corporations and wealthy citizens. I wouldn't question the intelligence of any of the Republicans I know, though I would question a few of their understanding of the separateness of the Bible and the Constitution.

    And everyone is entitled to their own opinion which is why you probably shouldn't get all uppity about someone sharing theirs.

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  39. I'm not a Democrat. I actually support the Republicans on any number of things-including the partial privatisation of social security and school vouchers. FTR, I'm a Libertarian.

    Why is being able to pass the SAT IIs (are they still called that?) suddenly considered elitism? It's almost laughable that someone as conservative as me (in her personal life) suddenly becomes a god-hating liberal because I choose to believe in gravity even though I don't see it.

    Sorry Lag Liv, if you think I've been abrasive.

    Also, at least I have the guts to sign my name to my comments!

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  40. Disclaimer: Monkey is a very good friend of mine and I knew her quite well.
    I am amused at how an articulate, well-executed opinion can be termed "abrasive". Also, am mightily enjoying the delicious irony that an highly-educated immigrant who worked her tail off to get where she is today is being called an "elitist". Come on, folks - get a grip.

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  41. Well said!!! My strong Democratic leanings aside, I have always admired McCain for his ballsiness and thought this was an incredibly stupid decision on his part.

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  42. P.S., WTF TxMommy. Some people...
    I didn't think this was an attack post at all.

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  43. Well thought-out and well-written, LL.

    Food for thought: the creation story is not limited to the Judeo-Christian doctrine. Nearly every single group/race/religion WORLDWIDE has a creation story, and a very large majority of them are similar to the biblical story. Why shouldn't a broad version of it be taught in schools along-side evolution/Darwinism? In a sense, both are theories...neither are absolutes.

    Also, as a conservative, I often find myself being attacked by liberals, and many seem to assume that I'm some poorly educated bible-thumping redneck flying my confederate flag from my pickup truck.
    Now while I don't claim to be the smartest gal, I did get a bachelors in Religious Studies...so I can be taught (lack of funding has currently put my graduate studies on hold). I also grew up in the city at/below the poverty line until my mom finished school and got a job as a nurse. We weren't on welfare, but I knew plenty of folks in my neighborhood who were, and knew many who abused it. I also grew up going to very diverse public schools with friends from all backgrounds and races. I have worked really really hard for the things I have and I get irritated at those who constantly demand hand-outs without even trying to better their situation, or who abuse a system meant to help people get back on their feet.
    I also try to not engage in any political discussions because I get tired of being personally attacked for my beliefs when I would never personally criticize someone for their liberal leanings. I may not understand them, but I certainly wouldn't call them names or make crude jokes at their expense. At least in my experience, I get personally attacked for my conservative views, so I can understand why Anonymous at 9/17/08 11:32 AM feels the same. I'm sure he/she is feeling as shell-shocked as I do.

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  44. Hooray! A political post I can comment on! Heh - I try to avoid politics on my own blog since my husband is a reservist currently serving in Iraq, but hell - I LOVE to comment on this one.

    I find Palin absolutely horrifying. Everything about her scares the hell out of me. I am absolutely with you on the comparison to mysterious Bush likeability factor. I don't understand why Americans vote the way they do - based on some vague "likeability" thing instead of actual competence. They'd rather vote for somebody they want to drink a beer with than for somebody smarter than they are. They don't want an "elitist," which, I gather, means anybody with a brain. I guess this has been true historically in the US since Andrew Jackson's White House. Anyway, it's depressing to me and makes me suspect that people vote based on who they like because they don't understand the issues. I really think people don't get it.

    Which is sad. And frightening.

    Anyway - I sincerely hope people have a "wake up and smell the disaster coming" moment before voting for this woman who, of course, could be president the same day the old dude takes office.

    *sigh*

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  45. For what it's worth, I think the point of picking Sarah Palin is to engender a debate entitled "Who's More Qualified to Be President, Palin or Obama?"

    The answer to that doesn't matter. I happen to think neither has the necessary experience, so it's a stupid question. But the point might be precisely to highlight how ridiculous it is that Obama has been nominated by a major party. I suspect Republican defenders of Palin's qualifications sound as absurd to Democrats as Democratic defenders of Obama's do to Republicans. In fact, my guess is if you like conservative policies, you're happy to rationalize Palin's credentials; if you're a lefty, you're happy to rationalize Obama's. It's emotional, not rational. It is plain that neither really has any. So either we should all give up the "experience" criterion together, or we should stop pretending that OUR inexperienced guy/gal isn't inexperienced.

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  46. LL,

    FYI, I haven't been "uppity" about anyone sharing their opinion. I've been "uppity" about Monkey calling people who may not be as wise as she apparently is "dumbasses." Not all are created equal, and physics doesn't come easily to all.

    I am a conservative republican from small-town America living in liberal, politically-charged DC, employed in a community mental health center, largely funded by the government. I have a graduate degree, and and work daily with schizophrenics, drug addicts, felons, etc., so I'm not exactly a dumb old naive country girl living in the big city. I am also not easily offended, and, while conservative in my own beliefs and personal life, do not expect others to live by what I believe.

    I do, however, have the naive notion that others will respect my beliefs, and not judge me or criticize me for them. I, like Colleen, sit quietly and listen to others' differing opinions respectfully - in fact, I am always open to changing mine if I hear/read something convincing enough to do so. I'm by and large a "gray" thinker. However, when said opinions become personal, I do take offense. While I myself will most likely be voting on the Republican ticket, I have never once personally bashed Obama or anyone who supports him. In fact, I have said in numerous conversations I've had that he seems like a bright guy and undoubtedly has a ton of charisma.

    Further, to Monkey, in response to "Also, at least I have the guts to sign my name to my comments!" - I don't have a blog or anything, but am happy to sign my name, if that makes you happy and proves I'm not "gutless."

    -Kelly

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  47. "Can't we all just get along?"--Rodney King

    Sorry just had to add that in. I popped back into this post to see what else could be said and wow...what a wonderful set of comments, personal, objective, insulting, supportive, irritable...

    And it's all good people.

    Keep reading even if you don't agree.

    This blog isn't only political...it's a mom/law student/lawyer in full/wife/animal loving/shoe loving/recipe posting/child rearing/every day life of mish mash of an "common" woman, her quite unusual start to motherhood and her numerous interests.

    Disclaimer lest I be attacked: in no way do I use the term "common" in a derogatory manner...just that LL is me, you and all of us at some time...

    --Desimom

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  48. "Can't we all just get along?"--Rodney King

    Sorry just had to add that in. I popped back into this post to see what else could be said and wow...what a wonderful set of comments, personal, objective, insulting, supportive, irritable...

    And it's all good people.

    Keep reading even if you don't agree.

    This blog isn't only political...it's a mom/law student/lawyer in full/wife/animal loving/shoe loving/recipe posting/child rearing/every day life of mish mash of an "common" woman, her quite unusual start to motherhood and her numerous interests.

    Disclaimer lest I be attacked: in no way do I use the term "common" in a derogatory manner...just that LL is me, you and all of us at some time...

    --Desimom

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  49. "In a sense, both are theories...neither are absolutes."

    The word "theory" has an entirely different context in science and understanding the difference between a scientific theory and the general word "theory" is crucial to training a child's mind in the methodology of scientific inquiry.

    That isn't elitism, it's actually 10th grade, maybe 9th grade science.

    I'd suggest people who insist on having their child receive a religiously based education, including Religious Science and Religious Mathematics either home school their children or stick them in private schools that teach Bible Maths and Bible Sciences.

    I don't think public school graduates who may one day aspire to work in the field of science be subjected to a sub-standard education simply because other people find the subject matter too difficult for them.

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  50. Kelly,

    The point is not what you or I believe. You are free to believe whatever you like. The only issue I have is with individuals seeking to turn our nation's science classrooms into Sunday School.

    This isn't a matter of my personal dislike of your views-I really don't care about how people feel about evolution. It's my strong feeling that the United States must stay economically competitive against countries like China and India, and turning out public school graduates (and the majority of children WILL attend public school) who don't understand basic Biology and lack a knowledge of complicated mathematics and physics (simply because some people find it too difficult to understand) makes this goal impossible.

    It will never stop at public high schools. Then the AP Bio and Physics test will have to be modified to account for X religious view etc..

    Simply put-your religious views belong in your place of worship, your home and your Sunday Schools.

    Why am I so adamant about this? You may claim that I am elitist, but as Cagey said upthread, my family comes from a very poor background. Yet, my dad, despite experiencing poverty like you've probably never seen, got a chance to go to one of the best engineering schools in the world. Simply put, I do not believe education should be the privilege of the wealthy. America's best resource is it's people-and children living in more conservative states deserve the type of education and opportunities that will allow them to pass the tests that will admit them to posh schools JUST as much as kids in the Northeast and rich communities.

    THAT is why I'm so strident and non-fakely nice about this. Because I want people to have that equality of opportunity.

    Thanks,

    Monkey

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