Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Who?

By Allen Bacon

We've had about 24 hours now to pick our collective jaws up off the floor as a nation after John McCain announced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice President candidate.

First of all, if you are thinking in terms of her being the first woman VP candidate on the Republican side and you want an argument about that don't read any further. I'm not going there. That's because it is irrelevant.

Why do we get all excited about the fact that she is a woman and she may be a heartbeat from the president? Aren't we beyond that? England and India were way ahead of the curve on this. Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meier ran their respective countries pretty effectively. And that was a long time ago.

I question John McCain's motives. Is he trying to get Hillary Clinton's supporters vote? Does he really think that after the events in Denver this past week that the Clinton supporters, after hearing rousing endorsements from both Senator Clinton and Former President Bill Clinton and after listening to motivating pleas from Senator Obama and Senator Biden that they are going to jump ship and become Republicans all of a sudden? If that is his reasoning for choosing Governor Palin over Mitt Romney (who would have made a great economic advisor that we so desperately need) or Joe Lieberman (who would of brought us a moral compass) then he is off sides.

The other thing I didn't understand was McCain taking out a full page ad congratulating his opponent. Again for the wrong reason. He tried to tie in the fact that it was historic for a man of color to be the first nominee and how ironic it came on the date of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. Again, the color of Barack Obama's skin is irrelevant. We're picking the leader of the free world. We need to pick the best person available. We don't care what the color of his skin is. Or we shouldn't. Not even Barack Obama highlighted the irony of Thursday night.

Let's talk about Governor Palin for a bit. I spent a lot of time in Alaska this past year. They have some extremely challenging issues that they face that the average American may not be aware of. First of all there is the issue of Oil Drilling and mining rights balanced against the preserving of easily the most wonderous and beautiful natural environment in America. Next, there are issues of Global Warming. Did you know some towns in Alaska are seriously considering moving and making plans to uproot to get out of the way of increased water levels? And we're not even touching on all the issues faced by Native Americans like the Inupaiqs and the Inuits.

Governor Sarah Palin has dealt with these complex issues every day starting from her time on the City Council in Wasilla, AK. On top of that, she had the courage to call Senator Stevens on easily the biggest political boondoggle of all time...the infamous "Bridge To Nowhere". So we would be getting at the very least an honest, hard working and knowledgable Vice President.

My concern is that she may be too young. Even with all these things Palin is handling, I would much rather see her (and I said the same thing about Barack Obama) come into a cabinet position and get the experience on the Executive level before taking the step of challenging for the Presidency or being considered for Vice President.

Coverage of the Republican National Convention starts on Monday September 1. Listen live via Bosco Radio: News and Information powered by C-SPAN starting at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST

1 comment:

Doug Vehle said...

Tina Fey for Vice President. Hmmmm. Now that's different. But this campaign so far has been, for lack of anything more descriptive, DIFFERENT. 'The mind WOBBLES,' to quote Kelly Bundy.

Well, Barbara Boxer is obviously NOT a fan OR her state; she called Alaska a "Small state with ethics issues." Okay, cancel the meeting to discuss Boxers' chances to run for the White House. How is Alaska any more corrupt than anywhere else? Never mind that she ran as THE (Singular) anticorruption republican, and therefore gained no support from her party even AFTER she took the nomination away from the sitting republican governor. So the republican party sat back and waited to lose the Governorship rather than get behind the anticorruption movement she was spearheading. The woman had no future in that party, right?

So it's a bit muddled, what with a fired employee from her days as a Mayor claiming that it was because he wouldn't fire her exbrother-in-law. Since there's never going to be any proof either way, just keep in mind it's ALWAYS easy to blame the people firing you rather than admit you really were screwing up your job. Everyone has things others have blamed them for.

You just HAD to bring up the socalled 'Bridge to Nowhere.' Keep in mind Palin was a SUPPORTER of the project. And it wasn't a bridge to nowhere, it was a complicated effort to ease airport and tourist traffic by ferry, which included access to an island that could then be developed. The controversy was when the Federal money was to be diverted to the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, the only thing that kept the project from going forward. Ted Stevens threatened to quit the Senate if this was done. So when he's later indicted by a Grand Jury for the time honored republican activities that brought down Newt Gingrich and prepresidential Chester Arthur, he already had an image problem.

But keep in mind this is the same man who put up one of the most spirited fights ever to buck the system and imprison an IRS agent, never yielding even as he LOST, and then went on to the Department of the Interior to become the point man in the uphill (And at that time losing) struggle to gain statehood for Alaska. A lot of people consider him the 'Mr. Smith goes to Washington' of the campaign, which he ultimately won.

So the two bridges that would have made up the nearly $400 million project were then cancelled by Palin, who only reversed herself on the issue because she felt Alaska couldn't make up the over $120 million of Federal money they lost, NOT because it wasn't a worthy project.

But people are going to express a lot of opinions without bothering to learn any facts. Good old Barbara Boxer, pointing the finger at the woman credited with CLEANING UP ethics issues in Alaska. Many people laugh off Ulysses S. Grant, calling him a drunk and saying he had one of the most corrupt administrations ever. In fact, Grant didn't actually drink much, the image came from the July 4 1876 Centennial celebration where he was drinking while already sick and threw up, leading to him passing out around 3pm on a hot day and starting the knowing fools to calling him a degenerate drunk.

And why, when a republican president fires other republicans for their corruption would his party turn on him? Outraged republican 'Stalwarts' resigned from the house and senate when the outgoing Grant 'Struck again,' for the firing of Chester Arthur from the New York customs house, after it was PROVEN he was extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from importers to drop bogus charges against them. This at a time when his salary was considered large at $5k a year, his bank account was seeing annual deposits well into 6 figures. Republican leaders openly argued that was one of the rewards of public service.

And when new president John Garfield said, almost literally, that the party was over and he was cleaning house on corruption even moreso than Grant, who would step forward to kill him but a republican party insider. 'Corruption is ours' was the obvious message of the party, and who was made president by the assassination but the fired crook Chester Arthur, whom Garfield had been forced to accept on his ticket. The assassination came shortly after the mysterious death of Chemical Bank founder Theodore Roosevelt Sr., who had led the charge within the party for the ouster of Arthur and was expected to be the choice of then presidential elect Garfield as the replacement.

Ah well, the republicans were in for a shock when Arthur went 'Great McGinty' on them, and, weak fool or no, at least TRIED to use the power he lacked the strength to wield and sort of fought corruption for over 3 years, until the party turned it's back on him and wouldn't give him the nomination for a term of his own.

So what does history 120+ years old have to do with this election? Well, there's a reason history repeats itself. It's just the way people are. Obama, Harding, Hayes, and of course twice Bush, all pompous fools whose speeches drive the thinking class to distraction but mesmerize the daft masses, and these incompetent fools always stumble forward to the White House. Most people never learn from history because they're lack the ability to LEARN. 'You can fool all the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time---' and that's all it takes. Just as George W. Bush.

And yet, I'm rather impressed that this time around I'm stumped at developments in the republican party. They choose and support a maverick as their presidential candidate; when you would expect them to rankle like Mark Hanna did when Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was forced on them as the VP candidate. "NOW look, that damned cowboy is PRESIDENT" was Hanna's reaction to the assassination of McKinley. The party did turn on Roosevelt, even if he WAS one of our greatest presidents. Like Grant, his own party maligned him unfairly because of his strength of character.

So what's going on with the nomination of McCain? They threw out their own rules after Roosevelt won the nomination as the republican candidate in 1912 and nominated Taft, why not do the same to McCain? And why, in Palin's speech, did this SECOND maverick call to mind images of Hillary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, and other DEMOCRATIC Iconography? This at a time of so much WELL DESERVED antirepublican sentiments. They're actually ADMITTING they aren't the heroes of this country. I'm tempted to say this is NOT my Father's republican party, but Dad was a Democrat.

History being made? History is ALWAYS being made. When Dubya goes to the White House and it's Dirtbag as usual for his party, there's still plenty of history coming from it. It's just that this time around, the McCain/Palin ticket is NOT the history we've come to expect. The unknown Dan Qualye got his foot into his mouth before he could even speak publicly, and enough was known aobut him at the time we knew it wasn't going to get any better. Only thing that got him the nomination was cronyism/family connections. Meet the new fool, same as the old fool.

The unknown Palin acquitted herself quite well in her speech, and looks like someone who can pull it off. This is a woman who is an outsider in a party where acting without being in the inner circle is tantamount to treason.

So we'll see just how many of what's considered to be as many as 10 million women who voted for Hillary might decide to vote in November. Will they forgive Palin for competing in the Miss Alaska paegent and making 1st runnerup? can they deal with the fact she was a 'Hockey Mom' instead of soccer? Might they have never been fans of Tina Fey and let the resemblance become too much for them?

Or will they consider that, as Governor of Alaska, she was the commander in chief of the State National Guard, and that means she has more military experience than Obama and Biden combined?

Oh well, guess what. Name the ONLY candidate for anything that has a son in Iraq? At least one person will see this as a bigger picture than merely waging war. Time will tell what the reaction to that will be.

But I'm still waiting for the most important reaction of all. What does TINA FEY have to say?