The Mavericky Thing
by Natasha Chart, Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:22:33 PM EDT
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.