30 August 2008


I'm still stuck there with regards to McCain's VP choice. I'm really starting to wonder if there's something to the idea that the Republican brand has been so tarnished that the GOP is saying, "Screw it; let the Dems have this one--they'll just have to clean up W's shit anyway."

Let's be real clear:

If he really wanted to choose a woman as his running mate, there were other alternatives with more substantive resumes, like Condoleezza Rice, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Olympia Snowe, or even Carly Fiorina...except all of them are pro-choice or otherwise unacceptable to the hard right. Sarah Palin was chosen (after McCain had met her exactly twice) because she appeals to the American Taliban wing of the Republican Party (creationist, global warming denier, forced pregnancy hardliner) who've never trusted McCain, and because she's female, which the McCain campaign clearly thinks will appeal to the mythical hordes of disappointed Clinton backers.

Joe Biden wasn't my first choice, but if, gods forbid, something should happen to Obama, there's no question in my mind that he'd be up to the job. But even McCain's own people don't actually think she's qualified to step in if something happens to the 72-year-old guy who's had four bouts with cancer: "She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long," McCain advisor Charlie Black said yesterday. Now there's a ringing endorsement.

Or you can let Palin speak for herself:

"I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." --2007

"What is it exactly that the vice president does all day?" --July 2008

She has zero experience at the national level. She has no experience with economic issues outside of Alaska, which is in a unique situation as a state with oil money coming in and a relatively small population. She has no experience with security issues, and being commander in chief of your state's National Guard doesn't count. (I certainly wouldn't count it for Arnie, and he's the governor of a state that ranks in the top ten largest economies in the world.) The only things she brings to the table are far right cred and two X chromosomes.

And you know what? It's no more unfair to call her out on that than it was to point out that Clarence Thomas was rated lower than any previous Supreme Court nominee by the American Bar Association, or to note that the only reason Bush I chose him was because it was Thurgood Marshall's seat and Thomas was black. Attacking her lack of experience is absolutely legitimate when the McCain campaign has been hammering on Obama's lack of experience since he became the presumptive nominee. I don't understand how criticizing Obama's lack of experience is acceptable, but criticizing Palin's is sexist. That sounds like, "You can't pick on her because she's a girl!" And that, my friends, is bullshit.

28 August 2008

Obama's Speech

I'll have more to say later; I'm kind of worn out tonight. What I will do, though, is use a baseball metaphor, for which I totally and completely blame Telesilla.

Obama needed to hit it out of the park tonight. He did--but he waited until the bases were loaded and knocked out a Grand Slam.

27 August 2008

Rest in Peace, Del Martin

Pioneering lesbian rights activist Del Martin died yesterday in San Francisco at the age of 87. Two months ago, she and her life partner Phyllis Lyon--together for 55 years--were legally married.

I'm sad that it took so long, glad that it did happen in her lifetime, and above all, I'm grateful. She paved the way for me to marry this weird chick I know (next week!).

Thank you, Del. You and Phyllis will be in both of our thoughts next Friday.

This right here? Is history, folks.

Putting aside my differences with the Democratic Party and with Barack Obama, I just watched as Hillary Clinton moved to name Obama the nominee by acclimation.

Think about that for a minute:

The Democratic Party, which was originally formed as a pro-slavery party, just accepted a motion by a woman to make a black man their nominee for president.

Change does happen.

23 August 2008

Biden. Huh.

I'm actually pretty pleased, and I think Biden's a good choice for several reasons.

He knows how many houses he has: one. In Delaware. He commutes between there and DC on Amtrak. He ranks at or near the bottom in terms of wealth among U.S. Senators. He's a Catholic from a working-class family in Scranton, PA--where they love him. He'll help neutralize Obama's so-called "Appalachian problem" and defuse the stupid "elitist" nonsense coming from Seven-House John.

He's got a personal narrative that can go up against POW John POW McPOW Cain's. His wife and daughter were killed in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver and his sons were badly injured. He was sworn in to the Senate for the first time from their hospital room. One of his sons is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq this October.

He's got serious foreign policy cred. This neutralizes another perceived weakness of Obama's while making it easier to chip away at the myth of McCain as some kind of foreign policy expert. Also, the Beltway Villagers like him--which is important, since Obama's got to work against the political press whose lips are surgically attached to St. John's Maverick dick. (I apologize for any permanent mental scarring caused by this image.)

He's an attack dog. Sometimes he misfires and shoots himself in the foot, no question. But he's also the guy who helped doom Rudy Giuliani's candidacy by calling him out and coining the phrase, "A noun, a verb, and 9/11" to describe him. He's already out there swinging: "John McCain will have to figure out which of his seven kitchen tables to sit at."

Biden's not perfect. I still remember his disgraceful performance during Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings. He voted for the war in Iraq. He's only got a 60% rating from the ACLU. And he was responsible for the horrific bankruptcy bill that basically gives the credit card companies the right to fuck you up the ass without lube--and yes, that's personal for me. But he definitely brings stuff to the ticket--without being someone who will overshadow the nominee. And frankly, I'd much rather see him on the ticket than Bayh or Kaine. Sebelius would have been nice, but the reality is that she's largely unknown outside of Kansas, a state that's unlikely to go blue, and she does nothing to offset Obama's perceived experience gap, particularly in foreign policy. Richardson was my choice, but he's got some questionable stuff in his background with possible sexual harassment.

What I honestly don't understand is why anyone thought for a second that Obama was going to choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate. No matter where she'd be on the ticket, the visceral loathing many on the right feel for the woman they spent 8 years demonizing would bring out the vote--including the conservative evangelicals, who are largely underwhelmed by McCain. Also, there's no reality in which Barack wants Bill within 100 miles of the White House--and based on what we saw in the primaries, Bill is incapable of shutting the fuck up and not getting in Hillary's way.

I can't see Hillary accepting it, either. If Obama wins, then the VP's next chance at the top job will be 2016. Clinton will be 69, and given how much whispering there is about McCain's age, can you imagine what people will say about a nearly 70-year-old woman? More importantly, the VP's job is to support the President. Hillary spent 8 years doing that for a man she loves; why on earth would she want to do it again for a guy she doesn't like very much, who came in and captured the nomination when it was supposed to be her turn?

And honestly, in what universe did anyone really think the black guy wasn't going to pick a white guy for his running mate? Much as I'd have liked to see two people of color on the ticket (Obama/Richardson), I'm not sure this country's ready for one nontraditional candidate on the ticket, let alone two.

I'm just crossing my fingers in hopes that McCain will pick Mitt Romney for his running mate.

10 August 2008

RIP, Isaac Hayes

May your legacy in the end turn out to be your music.

And really, people need to cut this dying thing out. I've used this tag way too often this year.