Friday, October 17, 2008

Failin' 08 and beyond? (Sarah Palin)

OK, it's about time for this woman's 15 minutes to expire. Honestly, is this really the direction that the Republican party wants to continue in? Here is a woman who's world view has all the sophistication of a beauty queen. Who revels in her astonishing ignorance of almost everything outside of Alaska, and derides those with a better understanding of any sort of complex issue- geopolitics, economics, even science for christsake- as elitist. I understand the need to energize the conservative base, but c'mon this woman is a blithering idiot who's fear mongering makes the Bush administration look nuanced by comparison.

"Pallin' around with terrorists"? Really? You don't just flippantly throw the "T" word around in post 9/11 political discourse. This goes beyond hyperbole. It's akin to claiming your opponent is treasonous, an enemy of the state, evil, etc. And people are genuinely surprised at the vitriol on display at campaign rallies? Seriously. This woman appeals to the most base aspect of the American psyche. Just once can we please refrain from accusing those who don’t agree with us as being anti-American? I’m really frustrated with this tactic which although employed by democrats, seems to be a republican staple these days.

This women is the definition of polemical and the resulting strain on the Republican party’s coalition is really becoming apparent. We’ve already seen a litany prominent conservative voices, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Buckley, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, Colon Powell, even Charles Fried a former McCain advisor, come out against this woefully inept women. The wheat is being separated from the chaff so to speak.

Maybe the coalitions of both major parties need some realignment. The fundamentalist, socially conservative element of this country, who've made clear through their undying support of Palin how contemptuous they are of ideas and the people that have them, make up around 30% of the population. Their influence in politics in the last thirty or so years has been greatly disproportionate to their numbers. I think maybe it’s time this changed. These are the people that fret about gay marriage and American flags as the economy crumbles and our rights are stripped away. The intellectual ideologues of the right never really thought much of them beyond a means to office, as clearly demonstrated by their pattern of promptly abandoning wedge issues once elected.

The last six or seven weeks would almost be laughable if so many didn't take this preening, pontificating, attack dog "with lipstick" so seriously. I mean McCain is a joke and everyone knows he’ll be off to the glue factory in another couple of years. But people are talking about Palin's incredibly bright political future. Don’t get me wrong, I think she would make a fine pundit for Fox News- dye her hair blond and she’d fit right in with all the other women who manage to look pretty and read a teleprompter at the same time. But president? This women is even more sheltered than Bush. She couldn't even handle an interview from Katie Couric. Katie Couric for fucks sake!

Although it really irks me when someone's ambition is so disproportionally out of whack with their intelligence/capability/etc., I might even be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and declare her as just out-of-her-league; the republicans trotting out another token women regardless of her qualification. But from what I've gathered of her behavior as governor of Alaska, she’s petty, and vindictive as evidenced by her willingness to violate state ethical regulations just to exact revenge on a personal adversary (read troopergate).

And she's also corrupt. The fact that she would bring along her kids on business trips with Alaskans footing the bill is somewhat understandable as she is a working mother. The fact that she altered the expense reports to cover her tracks, however, speaks volumes about her ethics. Couple this with her resolute faith in God and you have a cocktail for disaster. Someone willing to bend the rules in the name of divinity (this being the reasoning that justifies Islamic terror). And, really, I don’t believe for a second that she didn’t know exactly what she was doing at all those rallies, whipping up anger and misconception into a frothy hateful fury.

This cancerous strain of anti-intellectualism need to end now! We need leadership that can exercise reason and restraint. Please Governor Palin, for the sake of this country, fuck off back to Alaska and take your divisive myopic bullshit with you.

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