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.

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McCain/Palin at Nutter Center

The Nutter Center in Dayton, on the Wright State campus near Wright Patterson AFB, was filled to capacity (~12K) for McCain's first appearance with running mate Sara Palin. The Republican Party in Ohio appears to have some life in it yet.

This should be a wake-up call to Ohioans that it will take superior organizational effort to win here. From what I've seen in Franklin County at least, Obama definitely has the edge there.

Here are some photos from the event:

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I have just one question

If today is John McCain's birthday, why did he give us a present?

I strongly disagree with the idea that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a game-changer for the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton gave a strong endorsement of Barack Obama on Tuesday and will be out campaigning for him this fall. I'm supposed to believe that women who preferred Hillary in the Democratic primaries will flock to McCain, with his horrible record on women's issues, because a conservative woman is his running mate?

I get the rationale for picking Palin, as laid out here by Chris Bowers and in a different way by Iowa blogger Douglas Burns.

But McCain is staking his campaign on persuading Americans that Obama is "not ready to lead." I cannot see how it helps McCain to choose a running mate who is younger and less experienced than Obama. Palin has served less than two years as governor and before that was mayor of a town with fewer than 10,000 residents.

At 72 years old, McCain would be the oldest president ever elected. He is also a cancer survivor. Can the Republicans make the case that Palin is ready to lead this country should the need arise?

Supposedly the GOP base will be thrilled to see the anti-choice Palin on the ticket. I read some "mommy blogs" written by religious conservatives and will be checking them in the next few days to see how they react to this pick. (These bloggers tended to favor either Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul.)

I assume they will be relieved that McCain did not choose the detested Mitt Romney. However, I am not convinced these rank and file members of the religious right will celebrate Palin's selection. They believe women should be homemakers who homeschool their children, and they think feminism and the trend toward working outside the home is undermining "Biblical womanhood."

No matter how enthusiastically the Republican pundits welcome Palin, I suspect that many social conservatives will feel she should be at home, taking care of her special-needs infant and schooling her older children.

The business wing of the Republican base tended to support Romney in the primaries. Mitt himself is reportedly furious at the way McCain strung him along. Look for the knives to come out if anything goes wrong with Palin--for instance, if she gets tainted by the trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

I'm skeptical that Palin will neutralize Joe Biden (supposedly because he can't afford to be seen as a bully). Biden has two jobs: to alleviate concerns about Obama's lack of experience, and to be an attack dog. The first task will be easier with Palin as his counterpart. As for the second, Biden can ignore Palin most of the time and focus his fire on McCain during the only vice-presidential debate.

Choosing Palin looks like a Hail Mary pass from a candidate who knows he will lose unless he shakes things up in a big way. I'm feeling much more optimistic about Obama's chances than I did five days ago.

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Palin Less Qualified than MAYOR Kucinich

<Crossposted at [redacted] and DailyKos>

Howdy all!

Alaska has a population of roughly 670,000.  The 1970 census shows that Cleveland had a population of 750,829, and the 1980 census shows a popuation of 573,912.  Then Mayor Dennis Kucinich had executive control over a population (during his term, which ran from 1977 to 1979) roughly equivalent to the modern population of Alaska.  The "Boy Mayor" was a dismal failure, leading the city of Cleveland to default on its debt.  However, he'd had a full two years running the place.  I live not far South of Cleveland, so the story is known to me.  

Sarah Palin has been in charge of Alaska for about 18 months.  Anyone care to point out to the Republicans that Congressman Kucinich was more qualified prior to winning his seat?

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McBush-Palin '08 for More of the Same Ol' S--t!

(Proudly cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

Wow! So John McCain has really proven his "feminist" street cred by picking Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his VP. Oh yes, and aren't they both such mavericks! McCain-Palin just smells like real change now, doesn't it?

Wait... Hold on. So we have some pesky facts to get in the way of a lovely corporate media narrative? Oh, darn!

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