Friday, August 29, 2008
GOP to America: Ehh? Ehh? A Lady!
So, just to get it out of the way, the comparisons have been coming fast and furious for the new Republican VP candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin: Tina Fey. Nia Vardalos. But after watching her speak, the first thing that struck me was a resemblance to Mariska Hargitay. Mariska during a particularly dowdy day at the SVU, no doubt, but I'm sticking with the resemblance.
Anyway, lots to talk about here, because this woman seems like a total nightmare. She's been governor (of Alaska, not to get too snooty about it) for less than two years, which now makes the entire "experience is paramount" argument of McCain's look incredibly silly. So there goes their biggest gun. She's in favor of drilling in ANWR, which, as the governor of Alaska, seems particularly crazy to me. "Please! Rape the natural wonder of my home state!" Would she hand South Dakota over to the Saudis? I think she might. Of course, combine that with the fact that she's an anti-choice woman and also on the 100-More-Year ticket despite being the parent of a soldier in Iraq, and a trend starts to form.
There's more to her, of course: She loves her guns! Big fan of the moose burger! She's under state investigation for corruption! It's almost too easy to pick her apart. So much so that I got to wondering if McCain intentionally picked her as a punching bag, banking on the one reliable trend of this election season: perceived sexism. Like, is it unfair of me to hold it against Palin that she went back to work three days after her last child was born? There's a hint of "you'd never criticize a man for that" to it, but...three days? The business of running Alaska can't be THAT pressing. Not only does that run counter to the family values crowd that Palin's selection is supposed to assuage, but it also serves up a big fat opportunity to engage in the health care debate via revolving-door maternity wards.
As a cynical play for the votes of disgruntled Hillary supporters, which this selection clearly was (at least in part), I think it's a serious misfire. Not only because Palin's such a polar opposite of Hillary politically but also because it mischaracterizes the PUMA crowd as wanting to see a woman -- any woman -- in the White House. Not so. These people want Hillary. Nobody else is going to cut it. Not to mention, after the Convention this week, I can't imagine there are very many of that type left who haven't seen the light. On the other hand, it was hilarious to see a roomful of Republicans forced to collectively hold their noses and applaud the name-checking of Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton.
I'm tempted to chalk this up as a BIG advantage for the Obama camp, but if the politics of this young, dumb century have taught me anything, it's that voters will embrace even the dumbest of political maneuvers. Particularly when there are this many tiny American flags.