The Mavericky Thing

I'd like to show you something that helped cost the Democrats a presidential election. This is Michael Dukakis in a debate with George H. W. Bush, Sr.:

This is what NOW's Kim Gandy reports as being Sarah Palin's position on abortion:

In a gubernatorial debate, Palin stated emphatically that her opposition to abortion was so great, so total, that even if her teenage daughter was impregnated by a rapist, she would "choose life" -- meaning apparently that she would not permit her daughter to have an abortion.

Charming. I bet the McCain campaign is hoping she'll avoid mentioning this while trying to connect to the average, American parent.

Palin's speech today was clearly meant to echo feminist themes, a favorite tactic of an organization she belongs to, Feminists for Life, as she prepares to campaign for an anti-woman agenda. She was obviously pandering to Clinton supporters in a speech that will get a lot more prime time air than anything else between now and the vice presidential debate, while her position on reproductive justice is just more of the same Republican paternalism. If you want proof, all you need to know is that the grand old men of the Republican Party are thrilled today.

McCain clearly wanted to look mavericky with this Hail Mary of his. A choice that validates the desirability of a ticked that has someone young and energetic on it, trying to copy it by embodying Republican straw man fantasies of what affirmative action means. A choice that responds to the credible selection of Joe Biden with a candidate who offers an echo of his story. A choice that pays cosmetic homage to people's desire for change, without offering anything different from the usual Republican platform.

Palin's just another in a long line of female Republicans given point to attack women's rights, minority Republicans set in opposition to racial justice policies, and Republicans of humble origin going after government policies and programs that they themselves used to get out of poverty.

For Palin, you can add ... The daughter of a science teacher who supports teaching creationism in schools. Someone from a state being hit hard by climate disruption who doesn't believe that humans cause global warming. Someone who claims to stand up to oil companies, but is instead a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Oil. Someone who claims to fight corruption today but conveniently forgets McCain's membership in the Keating Five. The mother of a special needs child that supports a presidential who voted against funding special education.

McCain Opposed Efforts to Increase Funding for Special Education and Education and Health Programs. McCain voted against allowing an amendment to increase funding for special education and against $7.1 billion for education and health programs. (S.Amdt. 2292 to H.R. 3010, Vote 273, 10/26/05; S.Amdt. 3048 to S.C.R. 83, Vote 58, 3/16/06)

And Palin supports this guy? You could call it hypocrisy, a politically convenient stance. However, I'm going to take a cue from Barack Obama's speech last night and guess that she's sincere, but just doesn't get it.

Palin doesn't get that the federal government can help people. She doesn't get that not all of us live in a state that pays every citizen a yearly dividend from the oil industry. She doesn't get that even most Republicans would be deeply appalled by removing the rape exception from already restrictive federal and state abortion laws - because most people, even anti-choice people, would think about the young women in their family and shudder at the idea that they should be made to carry a rapist's child against their will.

Palin, in short, is a typical Republican politician. But hardly anyone had heard of her before today. So she's exciting and new. Or something.

Which is typical McCain, who's been trying to bolt a Maserati shell over a Model T policy chassis ever since he learned that it would be Obama, not Clinton, who faced him in the general election. Typical, too, would be the press never calling him on it.

More mirage than substance. More me-too. More hypocrisy. More cognitive dissonance. More people who couldn't walk a straight line while stone cold sober.

I'd be bored if I wasn't so nauseated.

Update [2008-8-29 18:43:22 by Natasha Chart]: Minor correction, and check out Palin's willingness to breach state law for mining interests. Yeah, that just oozes maverick Republicanism. Why not just nominate Ted Stevens and be done with it. Oh right. People have heard too much about Stevens to allow McCain to pull a fast one on the voters.

Tags: abortion, John McCain, maverick, Sarah Palin (all tags)



hard-core evangelicals

will respect her for being against abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

However, I am not convinced that the rank and file social conservatives will be impressed by this member of "Feminists for Life." They are against feminism. They think feminism is anti-Biblical. There's a popular Christian website called Ladies Against Feminism.

So far the far-right Christian mommy bloggers I'm aware of haven't posted on Palin, but when they do I am betting that some say she would be a better role model if she stayed home to take care of her special-needs baby and teach her older children. I bet they will say she is putting her political career above her family's needs.

Just my guess.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: hard-core evangelicals

Do you have some sites you know of that you can share?  I'd be interested in following their thoughts.



by chrisblask 2008-08-29 02:42PM | 0 recs
here are a couple of links

These sites have extensive blogrolls (more than you would have time to follow). They don't necessarily update the sites every day, and as of this afternoon I hadn't seen anything on Palin:

htpp:// (big-time Huckabee supporter) log.htm

I did find one post about Palin from this conservative homeschooling mommy blogger, who was a big Ron Paul advocate. As I suspected, she honed in on the fact that Palin does not put her family first. She also asks how a pro-life Christian can support the war in Iraq: m/2008/08/first-thoughts-on-palin.html

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 03:45PM | 0 recs

by chrisblask 2008-08-29 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: hard-core evangelicals

Don't hate me because of how sexist this is going to sound, but:

What kind of mother would leave an infant child suffering from Downs Syndrome to run for VP?

Look, Clinton and Ferraro were immune to this motherhood question as both had children that were grown.  Yet, both had also shown strong feminist tradition that had allowed women to pursue both a career and a family.  They never subscribed to the antiquated notions that a woman needs to submit.

The people that support Palin don't beleive in this.  Look at how Clinton was savaged back in 1992, when she was only a potential First Lady for putting Career first over family.   Why should they be able to attack true feminists for having careers, but defending faux feminists??  Those women who claim to be feminists, but really work against other women.

But, the question still remains.  It is one thing to be governor of a small population state and care for young children with needs as a somewhat Ozzie and Harriet style mom.    But national office obviously requires a lot more sacrifice.

Why are these hard core evangelicals going to be so strongly supportive of a woman (that in their minds in almost any other instance) who would be abandoning her children?  If they followed their convictions, shouldn't they be very upset with Palin?  

by gavoter 2008-08-29 03:31PM | 0 recs
oh yeah, and thanks a lot

for that painful clip of Michael Dukakis walking right into Bernard Shaw's trap. I am old enough to remember watching it live. We all knew he had blown it.

by desmoinesdem 2008-08-29 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: oh yeah, and thanks a lot

Yeah, that was my first election, I had just turned 18.  I was still stupid and supporting the GOP that my parents supported.   I knew at that time that Dukakis was going to lose with tht answer.    Even at that time I wasnt a big fan of capital punishment, but I knew that was a stupid answer

by gavoter 2008-08-29 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: The Mavericky Thing

I really don't see middle-aged Jewish women from New York going crazy for Palin. The conservatives will like her, but I was never holding my breath as far as converting them. I think MCain has just conceded Minnesota and possibly Pennsylvania in an attempt to hold Colorado. The Clinton voters she might attract were very unlikely to vote for Obama to begin with.

by RandyMI 2008-08-29 02:34PM | 0 recs
On the other hand

Middle-aged Jewish men from NYC might like the shiksa, she's got nice cheekbones.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-29 03:15PM | 0 recs
by Trond Jacobsen 2008-08-29 02:40PM | 0 recs
Then chances are ...

we won't be the only people who find that connection easy to make. When I found that quote while writing another post today, I thought it deserved front and center, as well. And someone in the national press should definitely ask her about it.

by Natasha Chart 2008-08-29 02:47PM | 0 recs
Hope so!

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-08-29 02:58PM | 0 recs
And she'll have the shelter of playing

the "sexism" card.

Wait for it, it won't be long coming.

by chrisblask 2008-08-29 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The Mavericky Thing

It seems that her "reform" record is already falling flat:

Palin's speech was rather routine, but there was a paragraph that stood out for me:

"...I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress -- I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said we'd build it ourselves."

The McCain campaign has been flagging this pretty aggressively this afternoon. It's a shame, then, that Palin wasn't exactly telling the truth. As TNR's Brad Plumer explained, Palin actually supported the funding for the much-derided bridge project.

That's not a good start for her very first public appearance as the Republicans' VP candidate.

I'd add, by the way, that her reference to earmark spending is itself problematic. For all of McCain's alleged disgust for pork, Palin's Alaska receives more earmarks than any other state. s/individual/2008_08/014466.php

by skohayes 2008-08-29 02:56PM | 0 recs
My Mom

My mom has had a "Feminists For Life" bumper sticker on her car for years. Let me tell you it is NOT a feminist group at all, just a branch of "National Right To Life" with a cleverly deceptive name. As you might imagine, people like my mother are absolutely giddy about McCain's choice. Palin in an arch-Conservative anti-choice activist. People have been talking about Harriet Miers today, but Palin is really the equivalent of Bush I's pick of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. The far right is using her as a token to further their extremist cause, and John McCain thinks American women are stupid enough to fall for it. It's kind of amazing that Biden will be right there with Barack for this fight, since he ran the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.  Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I don't think the Right is going to win this time. NOW, NARAL, Emily's List, Hillary, Michelle, and Jill are going to have to go after this woman, big time.

by Hatch 2008-08-29 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: The Mavericky Thing

It's ironic that McCain, who rails against earmarks, picks the governor of a state that literally survives on federal earmarks.

by RandyMI 2008-08-29 03:09PM | 0 recs
could his campaign be any more ironic

he's using rove's henchmen, and undoubtedly rove, behind closed doors.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-29 03:17PM | 0 recs
Mixed Message
It's usually the Dems who are the mixed message outfit. McCain was drawing some blood with the hardcore not ready to lead / appeaser smears.
but now.... what has he got?
Not ready to lead - but oh yeah - d'oh - what about his VP?
Peel off the Hilary-ites - Sure! becasue you made this gimmicky choice - and she's as friggin right to life as you can get....
Reform - that is playing on Obama's turf - like a dem trying to run on National Security most of the voters who really care about it are on the other side....
Evangelicals - OK - sure he's got some points there but how are they going to feel about him saying all the things he needs to say to woo the Hillary leaning women?
Hard core repub's - they'd love the red meat smears and turn to the right but then he alienates his reform independents...
It's a tangled mess he's made for himself... all of these appeals will tend to cancel out something else and it's pretty late in the game to be re-inventing your campaign....
Can you imagine trying to come up with talking points to straddle all of these angles....
by Jbeat 2008-08-29 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The Mavericky Thing

I'm having a hard time believing that the McCain campaign did a serious job of vetting Palin. People have dug up too much dirt -- or should I say, gold --in just half a day.

Giuliani went down in part because of Kerik. I see no reason why we can't take McCain down in a similar way. This just shows terrible, terrible judgment.

by nstrauss 2008-08-29 06:20PM | 0 recs


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