The funny thing about John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for VP is how utterly, purely ideological it is. Imagine, for a moment, if you will, Dr. James Dobson announcing that, while he liked Ms. Palin, he couldn’t endorse her because there is nothing in her record or experience to indicate that she is ready for the most powerful job on the planet.
But that would require James Dobson to apply consistent standards to all politicians, regardless of party.
Surprise: though you might have read otherwise, the hard Republican right doesn’t care about competence at all. Not at all. The only thing that matters is ideological purity. Ms. Palin hates abortion, loves guns, and ready to open up any part of the country to those beautiful oil wells. Best of all, as a true Bush Republican, she just rustled up a $500 million subsidy for a Canadian pipeline company. Free enterprise? Taking a risk and then working hard so you can be rewarded for your initiative and hard work? Obviously, that’s just for schmucks. Real capitalists suck at the government teat and Governor Palin, like Bush, pardon the image, is more than happy to provide it.
Ms. Palin– she does accept the “Ms.” for some incomprehensible reason– is also in favor of abstinence-only sex education and we all know how well that works. Come to think of it, Ms. Palin appears to have intimate experience with the failures of that approach, but conservatives never let failure stand in the way of ideological purity and, besides, most of the Republican’s most militaristic leaders never served in the army, so I suppose we shouldn’t be shocked when its most passionate advocates of abstinence…. (Her oldest son, Track, was born April 20th, 1989. She eloped August 29th, 1988. Do the math.) But this is also consistent with Republican sexual morality: John McCain, Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, and so and so on, all “fooled around”. This list, of course, doesn’t include the Republicans who didn’t get caught.
Is the essence of Republicanism to persuade others to not do what you did?
The other thing is this: Palin has five children, including a child with Down syndrome who is less than a year old. But she clearly and willingly represents a constituency that thinks young mothers should be at home with their children. This is not a job in the secretarial pool. Would they mind if she was paid less than male vice presidents? It’s like divorce and military service. The Republicans are bravely and conspicuously hypocritical. She will fight to deny other women the right to enjoy the benefits of fifty years of feminist activism.
To her credit, she did not seek an abortion for her fifth child though she knew he had Down syndrome. Bravo. But statistics show that over 90% of parents who receive that diagnosis– regardless of political philosophy– do opt for an abortion. That means another fair chunk of the right wing constituency says do as I say, not as I do, but not Palin. Fair enough.
Watching Jon Stewart the other day, something struck me… his sarcasm can be a bit relentless and sometimes seems to fill in for analyses — the best satire is really witty analysis– but think for a moment about the one thing even Jon Stewart dare not mock— that’s right: the sponsors.
Are these people crazy? Irving Kristol appears to have met the good witch of the west. Does any single rational person doubt that if Obama had picked someone of Palin’s experience and qualifications for VP, Irving Kristol would be leading the charge against?