Beauty Queen Veep will Ruin Everything for Everybody

The following announcement regarding Sarah Palin is from Move On Dot Org. This is about McCain's running mate.

Obviously, in my earlier post I was too quick to judge this woman. It turns out that she is not a bad choice, not a person with less than ideal experience, not a person unsympathetic to liberal ideal.

No. It turns out that Sarah Palin is the WORST CHOICE POSSIBLE, she is UTTERLY INEXPERIENCED and has some potential ethical issues. It turns out that McCain and she spoke TWICE (at most) about this position! It turns out that she stands AGAINST every liberal ideal that ever existed. How could I have been so naive as to simply dislike this choice, when I should have been LOATHING this choice. She was not a BEAUTY QUEEN! No, she was a UGLY QUEEN.

OK, enough ranting. Here's the letter from Move On Dot Org. Please pass this on:

Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.


Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago.
  • Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.
  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.

She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species--she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.

How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.


We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. --Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. --Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. --Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.--Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. --Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.--Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

--Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team

Move On

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The Democrats better be very careful not to smear Palin in the same way Obama has been smeared. Here's an example. To my knowledge, Palin has not said she wants creationism taught in schools. Her line was something to the effect of, "I think a full range of topics should be taught in additon to evolution." If the authors of this article can prove me wrong, please do so.

I am an independent, uncommitted voter. I'm a libertarian who sees a lot to like in Obama, and some things to be concerned about. I am open to voting McCain in the upcoming election, and I have to say that if Obama starts to sound like Keith Olberman and Michael Moore and Jim Carville did in trying to take down Palin, they do very much risk losing my vote.

For a lot of us, Palin is like Obama. They are idealists. They are committed. They are true patriots. They are largely unproven on the national scene (Obama is more because of this campaign, but not necessarily because of his record). They are two people to believe in. If the Dems start smearing Palin (which I am fearing), I will react the same way I did as the Repubs (and Hillary) tried to smear Sen Obama.

Go negative on Palin at your own risk. It undid Hillary -- it has begun to undue McCain -- when they went after Obama. Instead, let's have a debate on the issues and on the character of the competitors. This article above was one-sided, spun, and has me opening my mind up more to McCain than before I read it.

Here's a clip and link to the Anchorage newspaper about candidate Palin's desire to see creationism taught in the public schools. -

'Creation science' enters the race
GOVERNOR: Palin is only candidate to suggest it should be discussed in schools.
Anchorage Daily News
Published: October 27, 2006
Last Modified: October 30, 2006 at 09:40 AM
The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms.
Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night's televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

By Arthur Dent (not verified) on 30 Aug 2008 #permalink

Tee: Palin has explicitly said in no uncertain terms that she wants creationism taught along side evolution in public schools. Explicitly. Stated. Creationism. No smear, just her being wrong.

I don't understand how you can say that you are an Obama supporter who might just vote for McCain if the ads go too negative. I don't understand your phrasing this as a threat. What is your real point?

I have this friend who is disgusted every four years about how nasty the campaign is this year. Worse then ever. He has never seen anything like it and he doesn't want to vote for any one of them. And each year, he ends up voting.

For Tee to pretend that there is no substance to the criticism of Palin is beyond ridiKULis. She has nothing to speak in favor for her politically, except that she is a fundamentalist and is a crumb to toss to the Family Values voters that were threatening to not vote this year. It is a way for the Republicans to pretend that they care about women, even though they chose someone who is opposed to the rights of women to control their bodies.

And Tee, saying that we should discuss "both side in class" is a very transparent rhetorical trick to favor creationism. It makes it seem like evolution is something that can be decided in debate class.

Commenters like Tee are EVERYWHERE on the internet since the announcement, it's uncanny ... these I'm-an-independent-so-you-better-listen-to-me-or-else comments ... perhaps Tee is genuine, but something smells fishy to me. The convention killed off the mythology of the PUMA, this next mythical creature, the mild-mannered independent who thinks Palin is refreshing (or some other crap), is the next one.

Bottom line: she's horribly inexperienced (WAY more than Obama) and obviously inserted into this to keep the debate away from real, everyday problems, but back to the 'culture war' ... this has Rove written all over it. Why else would Limbaugh et al. be happy as pigs in sh*t over this?

Anyone concerned about how "in picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy," need only spend a little time reading reactions at Christian homemaker sites for reassurance ;)

Thanks, Lynn. I've seen reactions similar ("What will happen to the children if she becomes president?") in public conversation. It's nice to know they're echoed in the deeps.

Analiese: OOOOWWWW!!!!

Ana: And later in the same quote: "VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans " ... she would want to be the Vice President of the United States For Alaska.

Lynn: That is an interesting example. This is a woman who does not want Palin to be Veep because it is not a woman's job. Women are supposed to be home standing on the glass ceiling...

Exactly, Greg - Vice President of the United Pipelines of Alaska.

Richard A. Viguerie said: McCain has chosen to balance his ticket with a principled conservative. Governor Palins life story is one of sticking to principle. She is living proof that a person can take on the corrupt political establishment including corrupt leaders in her own party and achieve great things,

Does this mean she will be removing McCain from office in late January 2008?

Wait wait wait.... she lives in Alaska, which is one of the regions most obviously (overwhelmingly) affected by global warming, and she does not believe in global warming?

horace: is THAT what the VP does?? Let's tell her.

joel: the only change I'd make in that toon would be the replacement of "women" with "Hillary supporters". McCain has clearly shown that part about his not "getting it" with this selection. (And yet, he could win!)

What is the story behind her allegedly unethical hiring and firing of state officials? Doesn't it come down to her request to have one person terminated as a state employee, because of unethical behavior on his part? Aren't the investigations currently underway, with no conclusions reached or recommendations made.

Is jumping to conclusions part of the scientific method?

Why, no, of course not, Alan. Since the matter is not completely settled, we should absolutely hold off on pointing to it as an indicator of McCain's poor judgment until it is. You know, sometime after the election.

Try again.

Yes, there are many, MANY female republicans who are more popular and have better standing and experience than Mrs. Palin. I'm thinking of someone along the lines of Elizabeth Dole or the former EPA head who left because of issues w/Bush - can't remember her name.
And no doubt, the RNC will showcase many republican females who are more ready for the national scene.

My first thought of the announcement - Who? Who is she? Never heard of her. I mean her name was never mentioned by any of the pundits who were playing the guessing game. And she hasn't even been seen in the same room w/ McCain before the announcement.

But let's be real. That is the Republican MO for VP selection. Unlike Dems who almost always pick a former primary rival as VP, Republicans almost NEVER do that. In fact republicans always seem to pick an unknown, where did he/now she come from person - a couple of which have never ran for office before, e.g. George Bush and Dick Cheney.

The Democrats better be very careful not to smear Palin in the same way Obama has been smeared. Here's an example. To my knowledge, Palin has not said she wants creationism taught in schools. Her line was something to the effect of, "I think a full range of topics should be taught in additon to evolution." If the authors of this article can prove me wrong, please do so.

"Alternatives to evolution" is code for creationism/ID. There is no scientific debate about whether evolution happens. What debate there is amongst evolutionary biologists is about the importance of the mechanisms by which evolution happens but the details of this debate are beyond what would normally be taught in schools.

So be very clear, when someone says they want alternatives to evolution taught they are calling for creationism/ID to be taught.

By Matt Penfold (not verified) on 31 Aug 2008 #permalink

So, Tee, are you fine with Palin saying time should be wasted in science classes by teaching non-science? And that in the USA, where so little time is allocated to teaching science that there aren't even separate physics, chemistry and biology classes like elsewhere?

(In case you want to discuss whether any kind of creationism is science, let's roll. Science has a definition, and creationism doesn't fulfill it.)

We are talking about the separation of church and state, something I'd have expected libertarians to care deeply about.

Palin -- and McCain himself -- doesn't need to be smeared. It's simply not necessary. Pointing and laughing should suffice.

I am open to voting McCain in the upcoming election

You should have an open mind. But not so open that your brain falls out.

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 31 Aug 2008 #permalink

Some excellent and very fair replies. I only wish this site -- and others like it -- made it easier to navigate through and continue the conversation.

I'm not sure why my post drew such a passionate response. Re-read my note. The core point is that I am uncommitted and that when I encounter texts like this (via a Google search), I discount it entirely. The fact that there is unanimous opposition to Palin (and to my note) says that competing ideas aren't welcome here.

Contrary to this blog and its responses, the American political scene is being refashioned in the image of independent voters. When I hear someone say that Palin is a joke, I have to smile. She has north of 80% approval ratings in Alaska; she is the most popular governor in America today. That is not in dispute. If you have never heard of her, that's fine. . but don't judge her for that.

I react the same way when I hear or read someone remarking that Obama is a joke. I have to smile. He defeated a political machine in the democratic party that had near total control of the media. (Google Matt Taibbi to learn how the US traditional media has become more controllable over the past decade. If you haven't heard of him, never fear -- he is very left leaning. I cite from the both sides of the aisle.)

For the person who is concerned that I'm a wolf in sheep's clothes, there is medication for that sort of thing. What you saw in my first post was completely sincere. For the poster who thinks my mind is too open to actually store a brain, feel free to scroll past this note. For the poster who thinks my libertarianism should support the separation of church and state. . . actually, take it a good giant step further. . I support the separation of state and education.

How dare I?

Easily. Take a look at what Michael Bloomberg is doing in NY. He recognizes that the merger of State and Education has led to a Soviet-style system where the administrators and instructors are more interested in tenured paychecks than performance-based reviews. Bloomberg, a democrat, has taken over the school system in NY. And is there some big battle over whether evolution alone is being taught? Please. That is a petty matter. Parents should be able to choose which schools they send their children to; and if some of those schools teach the Hindu faith alongside Darwin's beautiful theories (and the improvements on those theories), bravo.

My primary point wasn't about education, though. It was about the danger of taking the extreme position and imagining that it will lead to progress. . . that smearing others, looking for only the wrong in others, will lead to political victories. I don't believe it will. America is abandoning traditional positions, state by state, and becoming a nation of independent voters. Anyone who thinks McCain is the devil and Palin is an idiot is becoming an outlier. Same thing for anyone who thinks Obama is unpatriotic and Biden is a goon.

It turns out life is much more complex than that. And this election is more interesting than that. When you're so convinced that you're right, remember that the voting will break down near to 50-50 across America, with some truly critical states (Pennsylvania, e.g.). If you're comfortable deriding and attacking every other person in America, go for it. Do not explore the issues. Vote with your mind shut. Vote before you've even learned who your party's candidate is. Seems like that's the prevailing opinion on this blog as it is over on right-wing blogs.

If you think I'm insane, just re-read the original text. . . re-read the article and ask yourself how objective and intellectually curious it is.


I meant to add this quote, from someone who knows where the political world is going in 21st century, Internet-centric, intellectually-curious politics. Obama is brilliant. I wish more of his diehards were too.

After Obamas acceptance speech was wiped from the front pages, even he was forced to acknowledge that she seems like a compelling person . . . with a terrific personal story.