Sunday, August 31, 2008
Someone has been calling Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a VPILF. I'll leave that one out there as it is.
I will not deny that Palin possesses some weird, intoxicating radiance. Illuminated by church-light, bathed in calm self-assuredness, possessed of creamy skin and strong thighs, she exudes a perfect olfactory blend of Eros, Thanatos, good clean girl's locker-room sweat, crisp linen, Shalimar, gunpowder, and moose-musk. No wonder John McCain can't resist her. She's the opposite of his meal ticket, his beer-baroness wife Cindy, with her famous trowel.
When I think of all the qualified, serious women in government who might make a good vice president - on both sides of the isle, mind you - I can only conclude that John McCain, as well as the Republican Svengali patrol that brought us the Original C-Minus Man, must have utter contempt for the people, and for the seriousness of higher office.
People who believe that government is always the problem and never the solution (thank you, Ronald Reagan) obviously cannot be trusted to make government work. After all, honest and efficient government would only hurt their ideology and create their own downfall.
Why Americans staff their government with people who want it to fail is the great mystery that the rest of the world can't fathom, and the Right wing's success at perpetuating their diseased ideology is a triumph of Orwellian manipulation. Only when things collapse around us and we find out what a Republican Utopia actually feels like to live in do we seem to come back to our senses.
Republicans famously denigrate the "reality-based community," as if reality were only an option, not a rule. Reality irritates them because it exposes their bankrupt morals and rampant greed, not to mention their gross incompetence.
Whenever reality cracks the paranoid, right-wing psychosis, when the treasury is finally empty and the cemetery full of our young brave dead, the people always return to sanity. And they always, always reject right-wing ideology.
If you love your country, you love the people. If you love the people, you want them to thrive, the middle class to be strong, the poor to be lifted from poverty, the rich to be held to a decent moral standard. If you love your country you are alive to the fact that we are all in this together and should care for one another.
If you love your country you do not turn it over to enormous corporations and foreign investment cartels, and you do NOT deregulate industries so that their CEO's can loot the common wealth with impunity. You do not wave the bible while robbing the poor.
John McCain used to agree, and before he jettisoned his integrity, he famously bucked the Evangelical trend in his own party. Regarding their multiple bigotries, he called the Christian Right "agents of intolerance." Today's McNasty, however, is a far cry from the McCain who partied with Busta Rhymes on MTV eight years ago, when he was a mere sixty-six year old presidential candidate. These days, he questions his opponents patriotism and chooses a running mate who vows to destroy women's reproductive rights as much as he himself once vowed to protect them.
An honorable patriot does not surround himself with lobbyists while pretending to be these very lobbyists' worst nightmare. True patriots do not flippantly commit our brave young men and women to toil in the lap of death when we "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb-bomb Iran." True patriots do not hire consultants who wear thousand-dollar suits and smoke fifty-dollar cigars by the country-club pool while lecturing the rest of us about patriotism and sin.
And true patriots would never invoke Jesus' name to meet their power-mad, blood-lustful ends.
All this notwithstanding, if Sarah Palin invites the GTL out to the range for some smoke-and-hot-brass therapy, and a whiff of her come-hither, Miss Congeniality charms, you'll all have to forgive me.
Because I'm going.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
If not being from Washington qualifies you to be a hair's breadth from the oval office, then there are maybe a hundred million qualified Americans for the job.
And, one might rightly ask, if not being a Washington insider is so preferable in choosing a candidate, what business do we have electing John McCain, with over a quarter-century as a beltway insider?
If, as Alaskan Republicans claim, Governor Palin's selection is "good for Alaska," which I highly doubt in the first place, what about the other 49 states? Surely they deserve a candidate good for them, too?
It has been said that we are entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. Here's a fact: John McCain chose Governor Palin without even going to Alaska or sending his search committee. He simply does not know her. Period. Had he vetted her more carefully, he would have found that she is embroiled in not one but two scandals at home, both involving cronyism and bullying from the corner office. One is nakedly personal, involving her misguided attempt to soothe her sister's personal feelings about her ex-husband. The other is about what most corruption is about, money.
The scrutiny the Governor brings to Alaska will be good for the hotel industry, as reporters descend en masse to dig the dirt, but that may be the end of it. If you'll recall, heightened scrutiny did nothing for Geraldine Ferraro. Also, prior to her scandal-plagued governorship, Ms. Palin was the mayor of a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. There are more children in the school systems of medium-sized American suburbs than there are citizens in Wasilla. The press will certainly be impressed by how little there there is there.
Republicans are going to have a tough time keeping a stiff upper lip as they put their personal credibility on the line for Ms. Palin. Unfortunately, it will take something stronger than a deep swig of Kool-Aid to brace them for this odious task.