Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Interchangeable Woman

I feel insulted by John McCain's choice of vice-presidential running mate, Sarah Palin. (Although I was also insulted by Obama's decision to snub Hillary in favor of Joe Biden so the parties are equal opportunity disrespecters so far as females are concerned). Does anyone believe McCain would have picked Palin if Barack Obama had selected Hillary as his running mate? Not hardly. Palin is the generic female, chosen to pick off some of the furious Hillary supporters' votes. Didn't really matter who it was. A woman is a woman, right? And we don't care about her policies or beliefs or experience, just so long as her gender is correct. This was such a mercenary, manipulative decision but it may work. As someone once said, nobody ever lost an election by under-estimating the intelligence of the American voter.
If McCain had truly cared about his country, he would have looked upon highly regarded Republican women, of whom there are many including Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Olympia Snowe to name just a couple. Supposedly, McCain's rap on Barack Obama is his dismal lack of experience so who does this 72-year-old cancer survivor select to step into his shoes should anything happen to him? Why the former mayor of a small city and short-term governor of one of our least populous states. And doesn't it also seem ironic that the man who rages constantly against ear marks chooses the governor of the state that collects more money from the federal government compared to its population than any other?
Of course, Obama did the exact same thing. After saying Hillary was the politics of the past and from the old been-in-Washington-too-long mindset, he has a running mate who has been in Congress decades longer than Hillary and represents the politics of the past as much as anyone you can name.
I'm not exactly sure just what it was about Palin that caused McCain to choose her as opposed to other female Republican leaders. But she has caused a stir and excitement for the Republicans, I'll grant you that. In fact, the new and novel factor seems to be playing in her favor now just as it did for Obama during the primaries. Of course, the Obamacrats loved it then - not so much now. And some pissed-off Democrats seem ready to vote for the Republican duo as punishment to their own party although how a former Hillary supporter could vote for Palin with whom she differs on almost every issue, I don't know.
I have lots of Republican friends and they love Palin. First and foremost, the men, at least, mention her ability to kill and gut a moose. They say this isn't really the reason they support her but the fact is, it IS the first thing they bring up. Seriously, is that an important part of the skill set necessary to be a good president? Or does moose-killing/gutting symbolize something deeper for them? This is so outside my area of expertise that I have no clue why it is so enthralling to the men who adore her.
The rightest-wing Republicans have always been wedded to the idea of the family values, stay-at-home Mom but now the idea that the mother of five, one a Downs Syndrome baby and one a pregnant 17-year-old, should fly off into the ozone layer on a practically non-stop campaign for vice-president is just fine and dandy. Strikes me as slightly more than hypocritical. It would be fine for Democrats who've always preached equal opportunity and judgment for all (honored in the breach more than in the reality) but Republicans, at least the fundamentalist Republicans, haven't believed that way - until now, but it's okay, you know, because Dad is going to stay home and watch the kids! It is amazing how people can change their attitudes at the drop of a hat when it's to their political benefit.
I'm watching all this from the sidelines, having pretty much decided I don't like the Democrats or the Republicans and our choices this time suck so I'll let you all decide and then put a "Don't blame me, I voted for......whoever" bumper sticker on my car depending on how it turns out.
I'm actually much more engaged in NASCAR's Race for the Cup final ten races than the presidential race.
At first, I thought I was going to have to abandon my driver, Jimmie Johnson, for his own good because usually I'm the kiss of death for anyone I'm rooting for and right after I picked Jimmie he had bad luck in a couple of races. But then he won the last two so he's third in points going into the finals.
If he wins, he'll be the only driver since Cale Yarborough back in, I believe, 1978 to win three championships in a row. The Chase will end just about the same time as the presidential election. Go, Jimmie!

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