To quote W.C. Fields, The Democrats must "take the bull by the tail and face the situation." Sarah Palin must be dealt with, and without restraint. No more of this focus-group pre-figuring all the language, all the angles, of each carefully staged "attack." That will focus-group Obama right out of the White House.
The fact is that the woman is now the central issue of the campaign. The fact is that the woman is unfit for office.
Obama must call for her removal from the ticket in the interests of national security, and call into question McCain's impetuous, imperious, nutball "judgment."
He must make the correct and compelling case that putting this corrupt amateur governor with zero foreign policy credibility in direct line to become president should McCain's health give out is wildly irresponsible, and jeopardizes the health and safety of the nation.
Palin is under investigation for ethics violations in Alaska related to allegations that she used her office to try to fire an ex-brother-in-law state trooper (of all things bush league!). She spends Alaska taxpayer money to take her family on trips, to fund her visits to sporting events, to pay for her husband's jaunts. Total for her husband and daughters alone (including commuting from home to work): $43,490. She bills the state a travel per diem when she spends nights at home in Wasilla (of all things bush league!)
She is withholding e-mails that pertain to so-called "Troopergate," and reportedly implicate her husband in anti-law enforcement union influence peddling. She believes that so-called creationism (read: Bible scripture) should be taught in schools. She tried to get certain library books banned while mayor of Wasilla, then threatened the librarian when her request was refused.
She lies easily, from claiming to have stopped the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" to saying that Obama opposes nuclear power and offshore drilling, to boasting that she opposes government "earmarks," when in fact she has sought and won hundreds of millions of fat Washington dollars. She tried to cover-up her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy, and to arrange for a quickie marriage prior to the Republican National Convention. She may even, if recent reports in the National Enquirer are accurate, have had an "affair," as the polite term goes, with her husband's ex-business partner.
She belongs to a weird "end times" Evangelical church that believes God has designated Alaska as a refuge for the "annointed." She has called the disastrous Iraq occupation "a task from God," has exhorted church members to pray for an Alaska natural gas pipeline, a project that she insanely labels "God's will." There are reports circulating that she has referred to Obama as "Sambo," and eskimos as "Arctic Arabs."
Then there is her champion, callous hypocrisy concerning teen pregnancy and birth control. Her daughter—who obviously emulates one-time good-time gal Sarah (who in college favored T-shirts such as "FCK---The Only Thing Missing is U")—is five or six months pregnant, probably by a local lout whose Myspace page (long pulled) says he enjoys "fuckin' chillin'." Yet Palin has cut funding to pay for housing—housing—for teen mothers. Now there's compassionate conservatism.
And you can laugh off the fact that she says "pundint," "nook-yoo-luhr" (her RNC teleprompter spelled it phonetically so she would say it correctly) and "Eye-RACK," but these are sure indicators of, well, exactly what she is: a person with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Idaho. Take it from me: a degree in journalism is like a degree in nose-picking. Anybody with fingers can do it. You learn journalism on the job, not in a classroom. It's definitely a step up from majoring in physical education. And if you disagree with this, you must at least admit that the degree did not prepare her to spell or speak properly.
The woman is a scandal circus. And we've probably only seen the first ring.
Never mind that the country is traumatically split between so-called right and so-called left. (The right is comprised largely of extremist corporatocratic religious fanatics, and the profoundly ignorant; the left largely of cautious "centrists" who are essentially conservative.) Never mind the acrimony and charges of "negative campaigning" that would ensue from calling for Palin's removal. Americans have grown accustomed to having acrimony with breakfast, and the campaign is already ugly. Do the right thing. Palin is unfit for office, and every sensible person can see this (this leaves out, apparently, members of a Hillary support organization called WomanCount, which wretchedly called for backing off of Palin because some have said a mother of five can't do justice to a full-time job.)
Palin's appointment, in other words, is not just a matter of an opponent's policies being "dangerous," "wrong-headed," or various other conventional campaign cliches. It is a matter of a famously impulsive, high-rolling candidate (who loves to play craps) caving in to advisors and picking a frighteningly unqualified person to become vice-president of the United States. Dick Cheney is a towering statesman by contrast. It is a matter of aged McCain throwing caution to the wind—when caution was never more required—and grabbing a nice-looking, young piece of baggage without so much as a routine FBI background check. All the McCain aides did was Google Palin, which is slightly more thorough than making goo-goo eyes at her.
The choice was not merely a cynical grab for hard-core reactionary extremist right-wing Evangelicals. It was not merely a cynical ploy to make the campaign look progressive and compel more ladies to vote for the increasingly corpse-like McCain. It was not merely a cynical means of sexing up a campaign that would otherwise have been led by boring old white guys (God help us—Joe Lieberman.) It was all of these things—but with breathtaking disregard for the safety and welfare of the nation.
If you were running for president, wouldn't your first concerns be that your vice-president is capable of holding the job, and keeping the country stable? And wouldn't your second concerns be that your vice-president would not engage in dishonest or corrupt activities—that is, outside of those dishonest and corrupt activities that are officially sanctioned in D.C.—let alone peccadilloes such as scamming a few free trips? I mean, if you're going to be a crook, go all the Abramoff way, right?
After those concerns are met, then sure, you're free to be as "strategic" (cynical) as you like in your choice.
McCain did not do this. McCain is a hotdog pilot who has clipped power lines and been involved in a number of air crashes. With Palin, he clipped his own power line, and the only thing preventing a crash of his campaign is the ignorance and hatred of the American right-wing.
That's correct. Hatred is what is holding his campaign together, and giving it any kind of fuel. It is not running on inspiration. It is not running on encouraging human cooperation. It is not running on even the commercial-slogan-deep ideals of change and hope, as Obama slickly did in the Democrat primaries. McCain and Palin tap directly into black bile.
Think about it. Their power base comes from resentment: resentment of "Hollywood liberals," blacks, minorities in general, Affirmative Action (can't blame them for that one), welfare abuse (can't blame them for that one, either), illegal immigrants (can't blame. . .) taxation of their hard-earned millions (or billions.) It comes from fear of terrorists and hatred for those who ridicule their generally infantile and often fascistic idea of "Christianity." It comes from hatred of "junk scientists" who want to take away their "Constitutional right to own an SUV" (as many have e-mailed this writer's web site through the years), and from hatred of those godless heathens who imagine that humans are descended from apes. It comes from hatred of anyone who does not claim to believe that all human life is sacred (unless they are Iraqis, apparently, or Darfurians) and hatred of anyone who will not allow so-called creationism to be taught in public schools.
It comes from hatred of absolutely anything that can be smeared as "liberal," "socialist," "leftist," when in fact these things are normal, integral parts of any successful society and government. Imagine "privatizing" (read: destroying) social security and veterans' benefits.
And it comes from ignorance. Republicans/McCain supporters are generally of the ilk that simply reads newspapers/websites that reinforce their dumb-as-dirt reactionary thinking and beliefs. To imagine that these people—stupid enough to believe that McCain is some sort of maverick, when he votes with Bush 90 percent of the time, and turned against his own campaign reform spending bill—can be persuaded, reasoned with...it's folly.
So write them off, Obama---write off their bile, their rage—and do what's right. Palin and McCain are a danger to the country, and nothing less. Now is the time to say it, and to say it bluntly. The clock is ticking on this election. If they are elected, the clock will be ticking on whatever is left of the country.
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