Posts Tagged ‘sarah palin’

vapidity wins…

October 2, 2008

The after-debate talk essentially confirmed what I was worried they’d say, that Sarah Palin “nailed it” – although, the media mostly thought McCain had been more successful last week but it turned out ordinary people ended up giving it to Obama, so they may not be reliable. To me, she was just utterly empty of any real content. She was cute, but she didn’t seem to understand what she was talking about.

She contradicted herself several times (“we need oversight on wall street, stop that greed & corruption” vs “we can’t have government gettin’ in the way” or “we don’t know the causes of global warming” vs “the important thing is to stop it, so we should stop emissions”). It just seemed like her rational capacity was entirely lacking. Did she understand the arguments? Does she get what cause and effect are? I saw no glimmer of understanding in any of her answers. She seemed to have memorized a few stock positions but there was no depth of concern or interest that allowed her to expand or explore them further.

Biden was a bit too policy wonkish at times, and because the format was such that he hardly had time to go into depth, he occasionally seemed a little scattered, throwing out a couple sentences about one example, then mentioning another, and another – all connected, but not having time to get into detail about any of them. Unless you were already familiar with the legislation or the issue, it probably came off pretty unfocused. However, it seemed perfectly obvious he was much more grounded in his knowledge, that he had thought much more deeply about these things, that he was much more reliable. And even in personality, when he talked about his personal experience of having lost his wife and nearly lost his sons, he seemed much more genuine than Sarah Palin. She just comes across fake, with the bouncy winky, dontcha know..

But then, I always thought Ronald Reagan seemed fake, and America still loves him, so I am a terrible barometer there.

Palin’s pro-choice?

October 2, 2008

IN this video between around 6:30 and 6:50, she says she “would counsel” anyone who wanted to have an abortion to “choose life”, but that no one who had an abortion should ever end up in jail, “absolutely not” – it’s not a legal issue, just a personal belief. So in the end it’s not a political issue, just something she’d like to counsel people on. How is this relevant to politics? This is a non-profit organization, a foundation you can start, a newsletter or a support group. But it’s not a political position. If this is what people mean when they say “pro-life”, then we are talking on two different wave-lengths, and the whole debate is meaningless. We really need to start all over.

This issue gets in the way of so many much more important aspects of political discussions, and it’s completely meaningless. I guess it took a completely naive politician to actually say what she meant, rather than carefully step around the proper sound bites…

pre debate thoughts: Sarah Palin

October 2, 2008

This video about Sarah Palin claims that as a mayor she was hard-lined against LGBT rights, banning books, and supporting “reparation” therapy.

On the other hand, at the end of it, someone compares her to Dick Cheney, who has an openly lesbian daughter he’s on good terms with, so that makes me start to question the entire thing. I am frustrated that Cheney is a hypocrite about his private life and his public political stance on gay issues, but he isn’t making it an important aspect of any campaigns to snuff out gay rights or something either. So is the fear about Palin meant to be that she just won’t do anything to support gay rights legislation, or that she would actually attempt to implement an anti-gay agenda?

BBC provides a nice gaffe breakdown of both Biden and Palin – not exhaustive, of course – how could it be, really? – but gives you a sense of tone of their respective blunders if you haven’t been paying attention. But really, it seems as if in a live situation, Palin fares much worse (video compares Supreme Court knowledge)… even if Biden doesn’t always get his facts right, or says something dumb, he rolls along as if it made sense, whereas Palin has that Miss Teen USA problem of just running into words that just stopping fitting together at all at a certain point… She desperately tries to use broad generalities to overcome the fact that hasn’t got an answer, but not being able to get the generalities in place properly, they just get randomly dropped in as complete non-sequiturs.

Of course, she’s been practicing all week. It cannot possibly go as badly as it seems like it will. Which is what they’re both counting on… they’ll have a boring debate and no one will fuck up and we’ll all say, huh, she’s not that stupid / he’s not that offensive, and life will return to normal.

But just one slip on either side will look so much larger than it really is. Saying “what (whoever) doesn’t understand” would be inadmissable for Joe Biden, even though it was McCain’s favorite line. Mispronouncing “Ahmadinejad” would probably have been a whole scandal for Palin, but it was just a sort of silly moment for McCain (though now I have to get all conspiracyish and wonder if he did that on purpose so when she fucks up on some pronunciation thing he can act like the press is being all unfair…)

well. more later.


September 8, 2008

This guy is a perfect example of how people just seem so clueless about the abortion issue. It really drives me crazy, because it seems like it should be so simple to explain:

Joe Biden BELIEVES that life begins at conception. As a matter of FAITH. However he does not KNOW this as a FACT. Therefore, he does not consider it just to make it a law, that everyone must follow, that we treat all embryos as if they are human life. He respects that some of us do not believe the same things as he does! He probably also believes in Jesus Christ, but he doesn’t want to make it a law that we all have to believe in jesus. Many people are “pro-life” about their OWN abortion but “pro-choice” about the LAW, because they don’t think it’s right to dictate other people’s religious or moral values, especially when it has such huge consequences on their life.

Or how about this: if a vegetarian believes that killing animals for food is ethically wrong, should he be able to make that a law that everyone has to follow? Or is it enough for him to just be able to personally choose to not eat meat? It’s possible to not eat meat yourself without harassing those around you to make the same choice. You can share your opinions and thoughts with your friends, of course, especially if they want your advice, but you don’t have to have the police handcuff them if they disagree.

The point is that you have to trust your fellow human beings to have a conscience, and to take responsibility for the choices and actions that their life is comprised of. But you cannot force them to follow the same path as you. It is entirely possible that the way they understand the world simply leads them to a different understanding of matters, and they honestly do not have a difficulty discarding the teeny-tiny potentiality that is an early-stage embryo. For a secular-ish type person, comparing this to a murder is like comparing chopping down a majestic oak tree to digging up a barely sprouted acorn. It’s not the same.

Slate explores how the contemporary GOP has lost touch with the original family values that supposedly led to the absolute anti-abortion stance, by holding so fast to the absolute stance and not the values themselves…

Also, here’s a look at the so-called “feminists for life” contingent…

O-Biden vs Mc-Palin

August 29, 2008

So, on to the VP picks.
At first I thought Sarah Palin was a worrying pick for Obama. I was still sort of waiting to see how things settled from the DNC, and with the RNC coming up next week it’s hard to tell where things were going to go, but a younger female governor who was still strongly conservative sounded like the perfect weapon for the McCain camp. It deflates the “more of the same” line to a reasonable extent, and in a way even makes it possible to paint the democrats as the ones staying with what’s familiar, since Biden was never a “maverick” or anything but a standard old white guy democrat, and even Barack was a Harvard Law School guy who was some elite Professor (and yeah he’s half black from that muslim african dad, but he’s half white from his ordinary white family too – etc). And, if any democrat is tempted to talk about Sarah Palin’s lack of experience, it will only bounce back in their face, that at least their actual candidate has real experience.

However, after watching her give a speech, and McCain stand nervously by twiddling his fingers, I don’t feel nearly so concerned. Obama/Biden just seem like a stronger ticket. McCain/Palin don’t look like they really know what they’re doing. McCain is at an age when the VP pick could actually matter, and Palin seems like a lot more of a throwaway “symbolic” sort of pick than you might expect from someone who’d be 76 when his term was up, in a country where the average life expectancy for men is supposedly 73.6. And while this may make democratic change look like familiar enough change, in a way that might be just as well, because real hard core conservatives aren’t going to have anyone to vote for, and people who want some kind of change are probably mostly not going to want to vote for creationist pro-lifers… Perhaps this was just McCain trying to be like Obama, which is just proof that Obama was the zeitgeist and will be ok in the end.

I’m not really sure at this stage, and I think this move was probably the right way to go for them, rather than going back to Mitt Romney or whatever, but I wasn’t really impressed by her talk. Though she got a little fired up at the end, most of it was a little on the Harriet Miers side of things – yes, she’s a woman, but she got into politics by way of the freakin’ PTA. She majored in journalism and then was the mayor of a small town and eventually, for two years, the governor of a state with a population 1/12 that of New York City. And that’s it. Whereas, Obama knew he wanted to be in public service from the start; he went to Harvard Law School and was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. And then he went back to Chicago and started advocating for people on the south side of chicago and got into the state senate, where he served for 8 years before getting into the US Senate (and along the way, also lectured at Chicago). Those are entirely different resumes, even if Obama is still somewhat early in his career.

So, it will be an interesting race, and I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but I’m thinking Obama/Biden are looking better in the long run here, and while Palin will generate a little excitement, when people really think about it, it’s not going to make McCain truly stronger.