Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Disappointing State of Affairs.

Yesterday we celebrated my child’s first birthday. My husband made him a cake, and we blew out his candles for him before he plowed his little hands into the frosting just like millions of kids before him. He didn’t smile much, but he certainly didn’t seem unhappy as he smeared his face, arms and clothes with frosting, and bit into one of his candles. It was our baby’s first major milestone, and I felt very protective of him as we celebrated it.

In fact, I feel very protective generally of my child right now, maybe ferociously so. That’s because frankly, I feel very, very nervous about what could be about to happen in this country in the next few months, and I can thank John McCain for that gift. With his jaw-droppingly reckless choice of a running mate, he has ensured that if he wins this election the freedoms we citizens possess and the stature our country enjoyed in this world before the current administration will be permanently destroyed.

While I’m not McCain’s biggest fan on his own merits, at least he holds some positions that didn’t scare me into next week whenever I thought about the possibility of his being elected. He’s pro-life and doesn’t support gay rights, but it was generally understood that those were topics for which he didn’t care to wade too far into the mire. With Sarah Palin, however, he has brought into the equation a gun-toting “hockey mom” who as a devout, evangelical Christian supports teaching creationism in the schools and is strongly anti-choice. This selection was obviously geared, among other things, to bring the Christian right on board, as they had been making noises about not supporting him. Ms. Palin has brightened their day, however, as evidenced by James Dobson’s statement that he will now pull the lever for McCain. Fabulous! God forbid McCain could have instead held his finger up to notice that the winds of change were trying to blow people together instead of rip them even further apart. With this pick, it seems like as Americans we are now having some sort of monumental, epic battle for our fate. On one side, people desperate to move past the last 8 years to a model of a strong America that values all of its citizens and communicates with its neighbors. On the other, a vocal group that has co-opted the Republican Party so that it’s forced to push this message that all manner of intolerance and interference is appropriate in the name of God.

If this ticket is elected and Old Man McCain croaks on the job, which at his ripe old age is certainly possible, then we’ll find ourselves living in a shitty TV movie. How can anyone in their right mind think that this former frigging beauty queen who has ZERO world experience is an appropriate choice to run this country? It’s bad enough that she stands for all the intolerance and stubborn, backwards lack of thought that I can’t abide, and that if she’s in power she’s going to work to inflict her way of life on me and my children, but worse is the thought of how she would deal with world leaders. What’s she going to do, get pissed off and take her hunting rifle to them? She may be all spunky and whatnot, but that’s not really going to cut it when she has to deal with Putin.

I am just sick about this on so many levels. It takes the level of discourse back from the potential Obama framed in his convention speech of trying to find some common ground even on our divisive issues, to having to account for someone who has inserted a card labeled “Jesus provides an excuse for everything” where her brain should have been. An evangelical NRA member isn’t going to be the type to look for compromise. And she REALLY needs to stop making her speech where she talks about Hillary Clinton’s 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling and how we as women aren’t done yet – don’t insult women who lived the struggle of sexism firsthand by smarmily acting like you earned what you just got. Is she so clueless as not to recognize she is only in her current spot because an old white man saw the opportunity to use her to secure his own power? His choice of a completely unqualified woman as some kind of pablum for women voters anxious to see a woman in high office is beyond insulting. Women supported Hillary Clinton because she was actually qualified to hold the job.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Just In: McCain panders to Americans with Vaginas.

Well. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m not particularly impressed by McCain’s choice of running mate. My first impression upon hearing the news, since I had no idea who she even was, was that McCain is clearly pandering right now. Maybe that sounds sexist of me, but I don’t think he chose her purely on whatever credentials she brings to the table. And then I heard something about her credentials, and my opinion remained the same. Her credentials appear to include being (1) a good old boy conservative, just the kind of asshole you want to smoke a cigar with after a day of hunting innocent animals so you can hang their heads on your library wall, (2) governor of a state not exactly known for its environmental record, or more recently, for its lack of corruption, and (3) looking a good deal like a 1960’s throwback version of Mariska Hargitay. And let’s not forget her stint as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska; I’m sure that really prepared her for any future discussions she might be expected to conduct with world leaders. So it smacks to me of hoping to pick up some disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters who will respect that Ms. Palin has a vajayjay.

I would be really interested to hear the opinion of some conservatives on this choice. Am I totally off base? Does she bring something to the table that conservatives are seeking? I suppose if she is quite conservative that will help placate the farther right wing of the Republican Party, but there are plenty of people who could have filled that role. She is supposedly a “reformer,” so maybe that’s her draw. I don’t know… this just seems like something to surprise with, but not necessarily something that is going to help McCain in the long run. I suppose we shall see.

I noticed this morning that Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin have something in common, and that is the look that each is projecting. As Cindy stepped off the plane with her husband in Ohio, she looked like she had just finished baking some cupcakes for the PTA meeting at little Timmy’s school in the all-white part of town. Sunny yellow dress paired with a white cardigan; her white-blonde hair scraped back in a girlish ponytail. Sarah Palin manages to look more serious than First Robot McCain in her rimless glasses, but in almost every shot I have seen of her so far she has her hair pinned up on her head like she’s off to her mother’s prom. What’s up with that? Not a good sign.

But you know what? Mostly I’m just terribly, terribly disappointed that the Republican Party put a woman on the ticket in what I think is poor faith, and that she represents so much that I don’t believe in. She “supports oil drilling in ANWR, is pro-life and is a devout Christian.” And she pronounces “nuclear” just like George W. Bush does. What more could I ask for in a candidate? A lot. If this ticket wins, this country is done.