Thursday, September 04, 2008

if she were a he

I don't write about politics in this blog but I have been galvanized into action by this latest weirdness on the part of the Republicans. I have just returned from visiting the Patient's family in Ohio and Pennsylvania where I was the only voice of sanity amid committed conservatives. As much as I love them, it was tough!

Much ink and hot air has been swirling around about McCain's surprising choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Has her treatment by the media - left and right - been a bit over the top? Has it ever! Has it been sexist? I don't think so. Is her family off limits? Not until she puts her foot down. Does "experience" count? Yes. Is she ready to "take over" should something befall the president? Hardly. Should a woman spend more time caring for her children and less time climbing the political ladder? What a stupid question. That's what Dads are for. I, for one, am sick of it all. However, for the sake of argument, what if Sarah Palin were, in fact, Bobby Everyman?

When the announcement of McCain's choice for VP was made, the right went wild! A new face! A breath of fresh air! A perfect youthful compliment to McCain's age. A bold stroke that will confound the left! Then, after a pause to catch its collective breath, they asked, "Who is Bobby Everyman?"

Mr. Everyman has a very short resumé. He was the mayor of a town of 9,000 (seven times smaller than my own) and the governor of Alaska for 18 months, a state of 670,000 that would get lost in San Diego County. His "executive experience", about which much has been made, is limited to those two political positions. He has no legislative experience either, if that matters. Despite his assurances to the contrary, he has managed to bring big federal bucks into the state through earmarking (which he says he does not support) for projects of benefit to both his mayoral town ($27 million) and the state ($279 million). Much has been made by other Republican second-runners like Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee, of his "accomplishments" and "exercise of state powers." When looked at closely, most are between exaggerations and outright whoppers.

People are of course interested in Mr. Everyman's family; he has five kids, including a new baby and a 17-year old baby who's going to have a baby with her 18-year old baby boyfriend. Are these things important? Only in so far as they are a reflection of his "family values" and "cultural choices." Nothing more. Does every American family have these issues to deal with? Not that I'm aware of. Should his family be talked about? No, unless he trots them out at every possible photo op. Should he then cry "foul"? No, he's the one who opened them up to scrutiny by parading them around. If you say that your family is "off limits" there is a way to make it so.

In considering Mr. Everyman for the #2 spot, after extensive vetting, including talking to members of the governor's office, he would have been deemed too inexperienced for the job. Instead, he would have been named the keynote speaker at the convention (as was Obama in 2004 for the Democrats where he was "introduced" to the nation) with the idea that by the next election he would be a known quantity with four more years of "executive" experience and would then be ready to take the reins for the Republicans. If she were a he.

I have heard Cindi McCain say that the coverage of Gov. Palin is sexist. I disagree. I think the most sexist thing that has happened is that her husband chose Ms. Palin only because she is a woman. And to get the disgruntled Hillary-ites to vote for him. Sarah Palin is not Hilliary, not by a long shot. If women supported Hillary ONLY because she is a woman, they may be lost to the Democrats unless and until they realize that a vote for Palin will shoot them in the foot. If, however, they voted for Hillary because of her politics, her message, her policies, and because she was the standard bearer of the Democratic party, there is no way they can shift to Palin. If you are a believer in the policies that matter the most to women ~ choice, equality, health care, education (sex and otherwise), the environment, the economy ~ you do not want Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

That's my argument and I'm sticking to it.


At 8:13 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Very well written, F. Brain...


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