Monday, September 1, 2008

Sarah Palin: Proving the GOP's cynicism knows no bounds

McCain selected Sarah Palin this past week as his running mate. At first, I was shocked. I never heard of her. It seemed at first blush like the kind of bold thing I was hoping Obama would do when he selected his own running mate. I wanted that because that is how I think I would be if I were ever up for national office. I can be impulsive. I also like throwing a wrench into things just to shake up the establishment. Which is probably why it is good that I'm not in such a position because who knows how much damage I'd do...

But then the more I found out about Palin and the more I thought about it, the more reckless the move seemed. Of course, some still have their blinders on, such as the PUMAs, who are now falling all over themselves about how picking Palin seals Obama's doom. Their hatred of Obama has blinded them to reality (much like my own idiosyncracies initially blinded me when I heard about Palin's selection). The reality is that this is going to put the final nail in the coffin of McCain's campaign. It was a reckless, irresponsible choice made solely on cynical calculations of identity politics. McCain doesn't know her. And unlike Hillary Clinton, she did not build herself up to being a national figure on her own merits (say what you will about Bill's help, if not for her own skills, Hillary would not have almost gotten the nomination). Instead, Palin was plucked out of relative obscurity at the last minute by a politico desperate to shake things up.

What is particularly ironic is that the PUMAs are totally blind to the huge sexism in the GOP. If you hear someone say they could never vote for a woman for president, odds are very good that you are talking to a die-hard GOP voter. Those people will never put a woman, particularly one as unvetted as Palin, one heartbeat away from the presidency under the oldest candidate ever on a ticket. In fact, I heard plenty of those voters interviewed during the primary on NPR - every single last one of the ones who said they can't vote for a woman said they'd be voting for McCain. Not exactly a scientific sample, but certainly what one would expect.

The GOP is run by pure cynicism right now. The party is out of ideas. The only thing they know how to do is do PR, run negative campaigns, and then give out the spoils when they win. The decent Republicans have long been run out of the party. The Democrats are generally spineless, poor at PR (which is part of why they are spineless), and also beholden to big business. But at least they know how to run the government, at least some of them haven't sold out, and they aren't dominated by the loons of the Religious Right. Hardly the ideal opposition party, but oh well.

After seeing McCain's VP pick, I'm quite confident now that Obama is going to win rather handidly. Which I think is a good thing. McCain is a loon. He should not be president. Whatever deceny he used to have, he sold out to get the Bushies to make him the nominee. This latest pick just proves it. (As will any cynical use of Hurricane Gustav as a political stunt this week).


Miss Breeziness said...

From what I see, opinion is divided on Palin. And I mean, among the libertarians. Some say she's the greatest thing to happen to the Republicans since sliced bread. Others say she's slightly better than the others out there, but not by much.

I agree on there being genuine sexists, and darn it, racists in the Republican party. That is most unfortunate, because liberals end up associating even reasonable "conservative" policies with that lot.

You know about all those people who claim that if you oppose affirmative action, and if you don't believe that white males have some sort of societal privilege, you're a closet racist and sexist. Unfortunately, those conservatives who are full blown racists and sexists who don't even believe in giving women the right to vote certainly aren't helping in that regard!

I actually kind of like Palin - well, her personality anyway. I'm not sure how well she'd do as a politician though. She's by no means a libertarian.

P.S. I'm not sure if you've seen my blog yet, but in one post I referenced your link to the Colorado study on echo chambers. I'm sorry that I didn't "hat tip" you - You see, I was a bit afraid that my liberal friends would find what I wrote in your blog. Yeah, that's a bit silly. :)

DBB said...

I have no doubt opinion is divided on Palin. I just don't think it will be a net positive for the GOP. If anything, it reflects rather poorly on McCain that he picked someone he really knew very little about and had not even met.

As you point out, there are plenty of people who get labeled racist or sexist who flat out are not, simply for not following some prescribed liberal line. But there are also genuine dyed-in-the-wool sexists, and most of them are likely GOP voters.

I really don't know if I like her or not, since I don't know her, but the fact that the religious right Christianist loonies love her gives me pause.

I have looked at your blog, though I've not had a chance to comment - I did check out that article now. Your liberal friends don't know you're a libertarian? ;) Of course, I shouldn't talk, given that I blog anonymously.

Miss Breeziness said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Oh, my liberal friends know I'm a libertarian - but I had been a little unreasonably afraid of them recently, after seeing how angry some of them can get towards people with opposing views. Not me, but people I feel I have something in common with. I guess I was worried because, in my comments here, I talked about some of them (albeit indirectly).

I would say that bona-fide racism and sexism are still problems today, although they're getting more marginalized than the left claims that blacks still are. The biggest thing that annoys me about some liberals is how they claim that not much has changed, really, since Jim Crow ended. Kind of like one of those girls who has a couple of pounds left to lose and still claims that she's so hideously fat.

I agree about the troubling nature of how Palin's being cheered on by the Religious Right. But to be fair, I believe she doesn't really intend to enforce her religious beliefs on others, unlike some other Republicans I know of. And some of my liberal friends are tearing into her (and McCain) as well. Pretty viciously. There's a lot of mud-slinging going on on both sides, and I don't like it. (I must admit I "feel" more when it's the liberals attacking the conservatives, but I don't approve of it being done by either side.)

Lugosi said...

If Sarah Palin ever becomes President, the first thing she's going to do is round up all the atheists and ship us off to forced parayer camps.