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.

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