Friday, September 26, 2008

It is what it is and what it is, is unqualified

I know, I know, I said we should stop talking about her, but the more I see of her, the more I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I'm delighted that the Republicans have picked such an obviously, comically unqualified candidate to shore up the glaring gaps in McCain's areas of expertise. On the other hand, I'm horrified that there is any chance at all that this woman could get anywhere near the Oval office.

Caribou Barbie, Sarah America, Bible Spice -- call her what you want, but by any name. Sarah Palin should not be allowed to work in the White House, not even as a tour guide.

The title of this post, at least the first part of it, is one of my father's favorite little verbal tics of late. I was warned that he has taken to watching FOX news -- this is a guy who has always been a centerist politically, more or less, but like many of us seems to have gotten more conservative as he's gotten older. He was Trudeau fan, but I suspect he voted for both Harris and Harper. We are both political junkies, but tend to treat it more as a spectator sport than something we would want to actually get our hands dirty with as candidates--It isn't that we don't care who wins, we do, its just that I suspect we'd both rather be handicappers or bookies than racehorses. I don't really want to drag him into this, but the fact that he didn't express outright support for either candidate had me wondering. He made some predictions, but he never really said which side he hoped would win and since he's the closest thing to a conservative I'm on face-to-face speaking terms with these days, I was curious to see his reactions to the presidential race.

Both the Democratic and Republican conventions were on while I was back in Canada. We watched Obama's speech together and he said he thought Obama would win, but that as usual his speech was short on specifics. I couldn't watch the Republican convention with him, mostly because I couldn't suppress my gag reflex long enough or keep from making snide comments whenever Mitt Romney or Rudy 9u11ani said something stupid, (ie: every time they opened their mouths).

"You have to listen to both sides" he'd keep telling me as he flipped from CNN to FOX and I started to sneer at Bill Kristol. Hey, I'm a journalist, I know all about listening to both sides, but if I'm doing a story on the Holocaust and one side is concentration camp survivors, soldiers who liberated camps and every serious historian on the planet and the other side is David Irving and a couple of knuckledraggers from the American Nazi Party, it isn't a "he said/she said/who knows what the truth is" kind of a situation and I can tell one side to shut the fuck up and get the fuck out of my office with a clean conscience. Eventually, I went and watched in another room.

When it came to Sarah Palin, I was suspicious from day one. I looked around for bio info on the internet when McCain first announced he had picked a running mate, realized she had zero policy experience, was a fundamentalist Christian, was a family values conservative, anti-choice, pro-war, pro-drilling here, there and everywhere, had ties to corrupt bum Sen. Ted Stevens and pretty much wrote her off as a losing prospect. I knew she'd never get the disappointed Hillary voters. When it came out that her teenage daughter was knocked up, I admit I cackled with schadenfreude, wondering how the hell McCain's people missed it and how they would try to spin it. I watched her speech and figured "okay, she can tell a really old joke and make mean misinformed cracks about he opponent. The republican base is gonna love her, but that's it. No problem."

But then the press loved her. And my dad seemed to think she was okay -- he seemed to like the pit bull gag--god knows he sat next to enough hockey moms during my and my brother's minor hockey days. He seemed to think she was as qualified as anyone for the job. "It is what it is" he said. This worried me. My dad is a pretty smart guy and he wasn't dismissing this travesty. Could the American people fall for this bullshit? God knows, they've fallen for some stupid shit before, but would they buy into the neocon Cinderella narrative about her being a tough and sassy hockey mom who could hunt moose in the morning and run the state in the afternoon? I hoped not, but they bought the absurd idea that John Kerry was a coward whose war record was a lie and George W. Bush was a fighter pilot/war leader, so anything was possible.

Then some cracks started showing. The GOP machine was keeping her away from the press and unfriendly crowds. Then they let her be interviewed.

"In what respect Charlie?"

"I'll try to find some and I'll bring'em to ya"

Watch CBS Videos Online

These all reminded me of something.
The best description comes from the comments at Balloon Juice:
"I'm still in shock over how terrible the Palin/Couric interview was. "Train wreck" is being charitable -- it was more like a train derailing on a bridge, tumbling a thousand feet into a canyon and landing on a pile of old dynamite and gas drums. And then a jumbo jet crashed into the flaming wreckage. Followed by an earthquake that caused the whole mess to slide off a cliff into the sea, where the few miraculous survivors were eaten by sharks."

In a way, I'm not worried anymore.

Sorry Dad, but this is a case where one side is grounded in reality and the other is not even sure where reality is anymore--in fact, I don't think they could find reality at this point with both hands and a search party if it was safety-pinned through both ass cheeks. Seriously, if you want to be vice president and you can't even manage to bullshit your way through an interview Katie Freaking Couric, how does she think she's going to do if she has to sit down across the table from Vladimir Putin or even Joe Biden?

I don't think anyone could watch these and get the idea that this person is well suited to be Vice President. I don't think most people watching these clips would even think she should be running the least populous, most remote state in the USA. I don't think anyone but a dyed-in-the-wool, born-again, Republican partisan would think she was even qualified to be the mayor of a town of 5,000. Frankly I'm amazed Wallisa doesn't have a monorail, but maybe that's more of a Shelbyville idea.

She can't seem to form and express a coherent opinion or even put together a full sentence.
That McCain picked her should disqualify him from ever holding public office again. This choice is not a demonstration of poor judgement, its is evidence that he has lost his freakin' mind.

crossposted from the Woodshed

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