I DON'T APPROVE OF YOU OR YOUR LIFESTYLE
Welcome, Sarah Palin and the Agents of Change
BY JASON GANTENBERG I SEPTEMBER 4, 2008
COURTESY OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sarah Palin is the new savior of the Republican Party. No one can say why or list any significant traits that set her apart from a thick roster of conservative heavies who most likely would have turned down John McCain's request to assume the Vice Presidential nomination if it were offered, and there's a very good reason. Her biggest and only attribute in this election is her vagina.
Perhaps that is a crude statement to make the night after Palin delivered a high-volume speech lacking anything approaching substance, but it's certainly no more crude than McCain adding her to his ticket based on no other prerequisite than her reproductive anatomy. Don't get me wrong. The move makes good political sense as a legion of disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters wades through Barack Obama's ill-described fairy tales, and McCain has hit the nail on the head. His only hope of winning rests in more than corralling a decent number of independent voters. He absolutely must win over former Clinton supporters if he has even a fleeting chance at taking the November election away from Obama.
I'm not trying to say John McCain should have picked a man, nor am I implying that Sarah Palin won't adequately fulfill her role as Vice President because she's a woman. Quite the contrary, if nothing else about the last year and a half of political posturing pleases me, I remain pleasantly surprised that the people of this country were willing to consider both a woman and a black man as viable candidates for the highest office in the land (besides those offices we haven't heard about yet). It speaks to a level of progress I sincerely didn't believe had taken place since the 1960s, at least not to an extent that would allow one of those candidates to march all the way to a presidential nomination.
No. Palin simply doesn't seem to have any qualifications. Sure, she was the mayor of a small town of about 9,000 people, and yes, she is the governor of Alaska. But so what? If the depth of Palin's political prowess is limited to the skin deep swill she dished out last night, it might be safe to suggest we ship her off to a special school where she might be of more use spooning non-toxic glue into her mouth.
Even Joe Biden acknowledged her as a formidable opponent, someone who might be a threat to him in the upcoming debates, and if Biden is as smart as he may or may not be, he said this out of feigned respect for a politician with little ground to stand on. What was hailed as a rousing, powerful speech by Palin was really nothing more than a series of punchlines, my favorite being, "We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco." That's good stuff, and whoever wrote her speech should get a raise for that line.
Palin's predictable hammering on the major Republican topics like high taxes, big government, and bringing old-world conservatism back to Washington can be readily enough dismissed as run-of-the-mill bullshit, brainless hogwash when one contemplates the brazenness it must take to pretend that Republican administrations don't notoriously act in direct contradiction with conservative values as they have been defined since the 1800s. Republican administrations have lowered taxes (yes, they're not lying about that) and created mountains of debt in doing so. They've actively increased restrictive laws and negated the old states' rights theories that were once the hallmark of true conservatism. Take the fight to illegalize abortion, the drug war, and a litany of laws meant to control the social whims of—for the most part—otherwise peaceful people who simply don't buy into the concept of morality as it is defined by the Christian religion. Make no mistake. The Republican Party of today is much more about control than they might let on.
Palin said one thing that particularly irked me. She spouted some nonsense about having taken on the oil companies and being a trademark opponent of the Big Oil lobby, which is exactly why she stated her support of offshore drilling (as well as the opening of ANWR) to cries of "Drill, baby, drill!" Is there anything more to be said about such a blatant lie? About such an obvious attempt to whip poor, misguided voters into a frenzy? And all it took was a nobody governor from Alaska.
Make no mistake, folks. The time has come in this campaign where anything goes. Biden has the space to say Sarah Palin's pregnant teen daughter is off limits because he knows the media will do a swell job of prodding all the necessary soft spots, but other than that, we've hit the home stretch. McCain and Obama are already taking dumb jabs at one another while proclaiming to carry the frosted winds of Change beneath their wings. For being the election of change, things are looking pretty familiar at this point.
Barack Obama is going to tear the White House down by its foundation. Sarah Palin is going to memorize every country on the planet in alphabetical order. John McCain is going to take a napalm Q-tip to earmarks, and Joe Biden is going to shatter his insider connections now that he's latched onto Obama's teat.
Hell yes. Things are going to be different this year, goddammit.