Hurricane Gustav? Try S***storm Palin (While I Was Sleeping, Part Two)

So, Friday, August 29th, 2008, John McCain stood before his fellow Republicans, his fellow Americans, and the media, and announced his pick for Vice-President:  Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

And the nation emitted a collective “Who?

Thus began the Category-5 shitstorm that’s been dogging the Republican Party ever since.  There’s so much to tell, I don’t even know where to start.  In the interests of clarity, I guess I’ll start with what happened between the end of the Democratic National Conventional and the start of the Republican one.

The announcement of Palin as McCain’s running mate certainly stirred up the media and took attention away from Barack Obama’s magnificent speech on Thursday night, as was no doubt intended by the Straight Talk & Crooked Walk campaign. . .but I doubt this unmitigated disaster was what McCain had in mind.

At first, the choice of Sarah Palin seemed cynical and insulting to the intelligence of American women; it felt as though John McCain thought that spurned Hilary supporters would rally to him simply because his running mate has breasts and a vagina, even though she is the complete ideological opposite of Hilary Clinton, and men would flock to him because Palin looks like every man’s Sexy Librarian Fantasy:

Sarah Palin relaxes in the Reading Room of the Alaska governor's mansion. . .in our dreams.

Sarah Palin relaxes in the Reading Room of the Alaska governor's mansion

As it turned out, though, that initial impression was incorrect.  The choice of Palin wasn’t just cynical and intelligence-insulting, it was also a slap in the face to Republicans who vowed to turn against him if he went with his first choice, Senator Joe “Judas” Lieberman, and John McCain refused to go with who they wanted, which was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt “My Hair Has Not Moved Since October of 2005” Romney.

(I must note here that, for all the media hype about the “lack of unity” and “turmoil” in the Democratic Party, anyone who’s actually researching the news for themselves would easily see that the Republicans are no better off.  Hell, Ron Paul not only wasn’t asked to speak, he held his own counter-convention, and Mike Huckabee, who was the most likeable of the Republican candidates this year, was treated so shoddily by the Convention organizers that he admitted he didn’t really want to speak by the time he was supposed to.  Then the chooice of Palin split the party even more.  In the interests of grabbing power, however, the Republican icons all acted like they knew it was coming and have since acted like they support it, though live microphones have a bad habit of revealing the truth.  Throw in the party remnants that still support Bush, somehow, plus those that are joining McCain in fervent attempts to distance themselves from him, and you’ve got more behind-the-scenes drama than all the reality shows on TV combined.  Why isn’t there more media coverage of this?)

So what was John McCain to do?  Well, the man renowned for his temper and impetuousness took his ball and surfed the internet, where he quite possibly found the “Palin For Vice-President” blog that Adam Brickley has maintained since she became Alaska’s governor, and next thing you know, Sarah’s the vice-presidential candidate.

The suddenness of her nomination took everyone by surprise, but, over the following weekend, McCain and his aides swore she had been fully vetted.  They lied. They said she had been subjected to an FBI background check.  The FBI said the McCain Campaign had lied.  Palin was promoted as being experienced and ready, but in an interview barely a month earlier, she admitted she had no idea what the Vice President actually does all day.  That doesn’t sound like being ready, at least not to me.  (Hopefully, they filled her in pretty quickly.)

Rumours began flying that Palin’s oldest daughter, 17-year-old Bristol, was actually the mother of Palin’s latest child, born in May. Palin put those rumours to rest by revealing that Bristol is actually five months pregnant.  That’s much better; “she hasn’t had a baby yet, but she will soon.”

Rumours began flying that Palin was a member of a secessionist movement in Alaska.  Jury’s still out on that one. She says she only spoke at a meeting or two, but they insist she was actually a member.

Palin’s husband was found to have been convicted of a DUI two decades ago.

Her experience was called into question, as she’s less than two years into her first term as governor, and her previous political experience was as mayor of her hometown, Wasilia, which had a population of about 6,000 at the time.  (It’s worth noting that this small town received $27 million in federal earmarks, known colloqially as “pork projects,” during her tenure as mayor, for which notorious anti-pork crusader Senator John McCain himself called her to task.)

And this was all within 36 hours of the announcement!

Well, on Monday, as the Republican convention got off to a subdued start (at the request of John McCain, who asked to tone things down a bit since New Orleans was getting hit by Hurricane Gustav; if the guy can’t even control his own party, how is he supposed to control the country?), Sarah Palin made the announcement that her latest child is indeed her own, and proved it by announcing that Bristol is 5 months pregnant.  Sarah Barracuda was no match for the media piranha that descended upon that announcement.

To his credit, Barack Obama urged the media and politicians to “back off” of Sarah Palin’s family, claiming that the pregnancy bore no relevance to her performance as mayor or as governor, and had no bearing on how she would perform as vice-president.  Why did he do this?

Because, plainly and simply, Barack Obama is a nice guy.

I, however, am not.

While I can see the decency and honourable intentions behind Obama’s statement, I also feel that it is totally relevant, due to Governor Palin’s firm, resolute, unwavering stance on sex education:  she favors abstinence-only education, as the Bush administration has heavily funded and insisted upon in recent years, even as some states have rebelled against it.  Studies have also shown that abstinence-only education programs have a tendency to fail miserably, and for Sarah Palin, its most prominent supporter (President Bush is currently in hiding until the election, lest he hurt John McCain’s chances of winning by still being a Republican), the proof of that failure is in her own house.  And yet, she’s going to insist that it’s the best way for everyone else, in the face of scientific and personal evidence that abstinence-only education doesn’t fucking work?  Now I know why she hunts moose:  she’s obviously been grafting their balls onto herself.  A stance like that requires a lot of testicular fortitude.  (I would also hazard a guess that she’s replaced her eyes with those of cave bats, since she also does not believe that global warming is in any way affected by mankind and, as Governor of Alaska, the evidence to the contrary is right the fuck in front of her. . .or she did, until she joined the ticket of a Presidential candidate that supports emissions caps and believes in global warming.  Even the Bush Administration has admitted that global warming is real and steps need to be taken.)

In addition, Sarah Palin praised her daughter for making the “choice” (the quotes are mine; I have problems believing that Sarah really let her daughter make her own decisions here) to have her baby and marry the 18-year-old father.  That’s all well and good for her, that she made that choice, but Sarah Palin, who leans so far to the political right that she’s damn near horizontal, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny that same choice to all other women, even in case of rape, incest, or the mother’s life is threatened!  Even most Republicans, including John McCain, don’t want to take it that far!

John McCain has, historically, always been a little to the left of mainstream conservatism.  (He fell more into Republican lockstep in the past two or three years, but now he seems to be pushing his “maverick” status again and, apparently, hoping people don’t look at his voting records.)  As far as he is to the left of the conservative center, Sarah Palin is an equal distance to the right. . .leaving the majority conversatives somewhere in the middle of Not-Far-Enough and Too-Far-Gone.  To be honest, I feel sorry for them; stuck between a Maverick-wannabe who crashed four aircraft in training and practices before finally getting shot down in one and a pit bull wearing lipstick, forced to swallow and endlessly regurgitate the crap the two of them are spewing if they want the GOP to stay in power. . .it’s not an enviable place to be.

(By the way, if you clicked on that “crashed four aircraft” link and wonder why Vietnam veterans would be against McCain, I postulate that it might be because of his horrible habit of voting against programs that support active troops and veterans.  I want to say now that these veterans are not suddenly popping up and swift-boating McCain because he’s running for President; they’ve been doing this for over two decades now.  Learn more about them here.)

Over that same weekend (yes, we’re still talking about the first weekend after Palin’s selection for VP),  questions of her experience and qualifications abounded.  Republican pundits and mouthpieces were trotted out to baffle the media and American people with bullshit about her qualifications (a habit that continues to this day), and failed miserably.  I got great, great enjoyment from watching CNN’s Campbell Brown tear holes in McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds over Palin’s national security experience as commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard.  She has none, by the way; she has control over the ANG for in-state emergencies, like natural disasters, but all state National Guards troops are under the control of the Pentagon, which is not even required to even brief the governor on what decisions they are making.

Unbelievably, the argument was made by Fox News (“First In Idiocy”), Cindy McCain, and even Grumpy John himself that Palin has foreign policy experience because “Alaska is right next door to Russia.”  I am not making that up.  It sounds like something I’d make up, but I didn’t, no matter how much you or I wish I did.  That’s like saying that I know all about Oregon because I live in Washington state (all I know about Oregon is that it’s somewhere south of here and people with Oregon plates on their cars drive like idiots).  Well, I don’t know shit about Oregon.  I know more about Moscow, Idaho, where Sarah Palin graduated from the University of Idaho (after attending six colleges in six years) with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science, because, hey, I’ve actually spent some time there.

On top of allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll this, and remember we’re still in the first weekend here, Sarah Palin claimed in her speech on the 29th that she had told Congress “thanks but no thanks” on the infamous “Bridge To Nowhere” project, which became a national symbol of the out-of-control pork-barrel spending in DC.

She lied.

She actually supported the bridge project, until it became a political albatross.  Congress dropped the wording that specifically marked funds for the bridge from the funding bill, but left in the $223 million that had been earmarked for the project. . .money that Mrs. “Thanks, But No Thanks” didn’t give back.

I’m going to run through the rest of this as fast as I can, because this blog is taking me forever to write:  Palin was touted as a whistleblower and reformer against corruption; in actuality, she worked for Ted Stevens as head of his 527 fundraising organization and issued statements of support for him even as he was being indicted.

She tried to get her sister’s ex-husband fired from his state trooper position, then allegedly fired the Public Safety Commissioner when he refused to do it. . .an investigation into ethics violations is still ongoing, forcing Palin to hire a lawyer, at the taxpayers’ expense.  Read about this and the previous topic in an interview with an Alaskan journalist here.

After touting her respect for her daughter and her daughter’s baby’s-daddy and the “decision” they’ve made, some astute people noticed that the baby’s father’s Myspace page, on which he called himself a “fuckin redneck” and promised that if we “fuck with me I’ll kick ya ass,” disappeared very swiftly.  Maybe it was his admission that he’s in a relationship but, as he put it “I don’t want kids”?

And all this was just the first weekend of her candidacy!  “Fully vetted,” my ass.  The selection of Sarah Palin showed us one thing about McCain:  if he blew his first major decision of a future Presidency this badly  or in a fit of pique, he’s not fit to lead this country.  Impetuousness, snap decisions, lame follow-throughs, and failures to do proper research do not a good President make.  For proof of that, just look at the current President.

Palin was a bad choice, but McCain will never admit it. . .just like you’ll never hear Dubya admit he’s ever made a mistake or a bad decision.  McCain & Palin:  vote for them if you want four more years of an unfit, incompetent, unstable President with a ruthless, power-hungry, dishonest super-villain as his Vice President.

Sarah Palin protects the podium from polar bears as Dick Cheney gives a speech in Anchorage.  (Photo courtesy Mike Mayhew, AP)

Sarah Palin protects the podium from polar bears as Dick Cheney gives a speech in Anchorage. (Photo courtesy Mike Mayhew, AP)

Me, I’ll be voting for Barack “Black Superman” Obama.

VS – 09.10.08

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5 Responses to “Hurricane Gustav? Try S***storm Palin (While I Was Sleeping, Part Two)”

  1. So it would seem I agree with you afterall.

    ~Kbd

  2. vagabondsaint Says:

    Glad to hear that! I can tolerate opposing views, but on politics, different viewpoints are often a kiss of death for friendships. . .

  3. Ah, thus we still have a shot! Be still my beating heart.

    ~KdB

  4. solitary vegan Says:

    The question is, why does Sarah Palin keep repeating this same “thanks, but no thanks” to Congress re the Bridge to Nowhere lie in nearly every speech she gives? It’s very interesting to me that she’s bringing so much attention to the matter in the first place considering that McCain has taken issue with the project since 2004, two years before she supported the project in her campaign for governor. Why would McCain choose a running mate whose political record so clearly shows an agenda to spend spend spend, the sort of padded government earmarks that McCain himself has spoken against for years, much less have that same running mate ceaselessly draw attention to the fact by repeating a blatant lie?

    I heard on NPR today that Palin didn’t oppose the project until Congress PULLED MOST OF THE FUNDS. But she never once said “thanks, but no thanks”. Instead, the wording was changed so that the funds were not legally earmarked for the bridge and she accepted the money anyway.

    I thought this was an interesting article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/politics/2008/09/truth_squad_vs_mythbusters.html

  5. vagabondsaint Says:

    You’re not the only person asking that question or wanting to challenge her about it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/10/gutter-politics-mccain-ca_n_125291.html

    I guess she’s following the old mantra that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true (see: WMDS in Iraq).

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