Wasilla, Alaska

August 31, 2008 by susan

This is Wasilla, where the would-be future president of the US of A jumped into politics just a few years ago. I'm not saying it's not a good place, just saying it's kind of -- gloomy.

It's RNC convention countdown folks, and the more we learn of Sarah Palin, McCain's reckless choice of a running mate, the more we know he's pandering to the sisterhood of the pant suit. Yep, she shoots down wolves and reproductive rights with equal fervor, thinks creationism should be taught in public schools, says humans aren't responsible for climate change, and opposes same sex marriage.

Does he really think Hillary's supporters only cared about the XX's of her chromosomes and not the whys of her policies? This is like substituting Phyllis Schafly for Gloria Steinem. Hey, what's the problem? More.

And am I the only one getting a Michelle Bachman vibe here? (If you're not from MN, you may remember Rep. Bachman for her grip on l'il Bush's shoulder after the 2007 State of the Union address, ultimately reeling him in for a big smooch. She shares Gov. Palin's anti-women, anti-gay beliefs, and recently sponsored legislation to protect our freedom of choice -- in light bulbs.)

ANYWAY, there are a few folks out there who think the choice of Palin will work for McCain, but I just don't see it. Today I tried this simple test on two corporate honchos who just last week told me they couldn't support Obama due to his inexperience. I asked them to say "President Palin" three times with a straight face, and neither one could even say it once. When I asked them to picture President Palin picking up that 3 a.m. phone call, they winced.

Then again --Gustav is about to wreak havoc in New Orleans and Repubs are thinking about scrapping their convention plans. ("Bad news," some operative is saying. "Now Pres. Bush can't speak at the convention." Good news, ditto.") And somehow they'll work this to their advantage.

And at the other end of the river, protesters are assembling to wreak havoc with the convention, and the Repubs will work that to their advantage as well.

So just because Sarah Palin is an idiotic and insulting choice for VP doesn't mean McCain won't be our next president. Against all odds, the Republicans have shown that they are very good at winning elections. It's the governing part that they just don't get.

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Comments

DKNY (not verified) | August 31, 2008 - 1:21am

Or like Clarence Thomas for Thurgood Marshall, because, you know, they're both black.
Still worried about the politics of this though. The Republicans just have this knack of selecting the dumbest candidates they can find, and then to everyone's disbelief, get these bozos elected. Problem is, the "everyones" that "we" know aren't a very big piece of the electorate. And that includes Corporate Honchos.
I remember during the primary just after the "lapel pin" debate, the "Democratic" News Hour commentator, Mark Shields fairly hissing "Lapel pins.....come on - of all the stupid non-issues........,etc etc. "Everyone" agreed, no brainer, but thereafter Obama slapped on that lapel pin. He'd seen a poll or two, I'll wager, about what "everyone" thinks of lapel pins (or those who disparage them)
Maybe, just maybe, this time will be different. But I'm braced for the worst.

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susan | August 31, 2008 - 10:45am

Well, now I'm braced for the worst too, because out of all the Sunday a.m. yak show pundits, only Mike Murphy, the former McCain advisor, thought the Palin choice was a slightly nuts long shot. And Doris Kearns Goodwin thought it was "weird". And Tom Brokaw, while interviewing my, gag, governor, the also-ran Timmy Pawlenty, made it pretty clear that he thought it was an insulting and stupid choice as well.
But the others gushed over her charm, her knowledge of energy issues (drill, drill, drill), her maverick status, (and I repeat, the original meaning of maverick is a lost and unbranded yearling) and her "cute" touches, like calling her husband the "first dude", saying America's gonna fall in love with her. She's not Dan Quayle in a pant suit, she's George Bush in drag.
And then there's Gustav. They're going to play this one to the hilt. It's already excused Bush and Cheney from showing up at their own convention, and the rest of the louts will be offering prayer services and taking up collections to show their readiness, compassion and concern. Meanwhile, out in the streets the protesters appear to have less and less to protest and they simply look more and more extreme and out of touch.
I wish my fellow lefties had all agreed to simply ignore this stupid charade of a convention and had a rally in Loring Park, or a street dance or something.
The Repubs know how to turn adversity their way, as I said in my post. Remember what they did with the Wellstone Memorial? Here we go again. I used to gag over saying Governor Pawlenty. I guess I should start getting used to saying President McCain.

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DKNY (not verified) | August 31, 2008 - 11:39am

I said to my mate, as I watched the yak yaks, Doris Kearns, if you turn this into one more "interesting, historical, brilliant on his part" line of bull, I'll shoot you." And she didn't smile, to her credit, not like she usually does, though of course she went easy on SP's likeablility charm etc.
And you noticed, talk of the brilliant, smashing, unifying Democratic convention was all but MIA this morning.
In spite of my initial cynical reaction to McC's VP pick, i.e, , that he'd really scored big time, I'd hoped that the nation"s reaction would be more like Susan's and Barb's - Are you sh**ing Me? and WTF respectively.
Or, to paraphrase another more obscure source, "this time, GOP, you've really gone too far!"
Hate to wish it on anyone, but let's hope Ms. Congeniality screws up royally, and soon. Even all the talking heads seem to acknowledge that's a real possibility, and a devastating one for the McCain ticket.

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MLS (not verified) | August 31, 2008 - 7:39pm

I found it interesting to search some of the news sites in
Alaska and read a wide selection of comments. Over all there is great pride by Alaskans that Governor Pilan was chosen to be VP candidate by Sen. John McCain. Pride is one thing but experience is another so when it came to the question, does she qualify? Well, the Alaskan opinions, to be expected, are very mixed.
I do want to share one opinion I found written by Mike Doogan, a Dem. Representative in Alaska and past writer for the Anchoarage Daiy News which was posted in its paper on August 30th:
"...But let's be honest here. Her resume is as
thin as the meat in a vending machine sandwich..."

No need to say more.

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susan | August 31, 2008 - 11:55pm

Great quote, the vending machine meat one. Let's see, what else do we know about those sandwiches? Well, the meat's thin, yes, but it's barely even meat. I mean, that stuff has to hold up in a vending machine for days. It's pulverized, plasticized, plutoniom-ized, meaning whatever freshness and nutritional value the meat once had is now seriously compromised. But many Americans have come to expect it that way, and like it.
This whole thing is playing out like an HBO special, with Marie Osmund, not Geena Davis, playing the President. And many Americans feel good about that too.

Felt the same way DKNY did about people like Doris K. Goodwin being so even handed about today, like it's just an interesting quirky choice. NO, it's a cynical hail mary pass on the part of McCain, who's far more interested in winning than doing the right thing. Why are they so timid about calling it for what it is?

But yeah, it pretty much punctured the bounce the Dems deserved for their spectacular convention. And that's exactly why McCain did it when he did.

Choosing Sarah Palin is not about what's good for America, it's all about what's good for John McCain.

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Poet (not verified) | September 1, 2008 - 8:47am

Susan--

What 's with the law enforcement in St. Paul? These guys look like like all they need are SS collar pins and a swastika armband to be Gestapo agents. As a native of the area and someone who has worked with law enforcement issues in the past your perspective would be appreciated.

From what I saw on Democracy Now these guys look like they are out of control and operating in an extra-legal manner.

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Anonymous (not verified) | September 1, 2008 - 3:20pm

List of single, (or double, or triple, ) word reasons why Palin was a good pick for J.McC:
1. Bold. 2. Mom 3. Alaska 4. energetic 5. Walks the walk 6. Maverick 7. Straight talker. 8. Fresh air (add your own)

Woops. Breaking news: Not sure how Bristol Palin exercising her reproductive rights plays out. Maybe hot shot straight talking bold maverick Alaska mom needs to spend a little more quality time with the kids? Probably the VP is someone else's kinda job, doncha think?

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susan | September 1, 2008 - 4:41pm

Let's see, add my own. How about 9. Supports abstinence-only education -- oops.
Go Bristol! Seems maybe Gov. Palin hasn't really figured out that work/family balance thing after all, as you suggest.

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susan | September 1, 2008 - 5:20pm

"What 's with the law enforcement in St. Paul?"
Good question, Poet. It's really creepy. And they look so -- edgy and uncomfortable in their weird gear, while a few families drift by in front of them, as threatening as feathers in the late summer sun.
What is up indeed? Full disclosure, I'm in Michigan, where I spend part of the summer, so I'm missing the police state. I had planned to stay here until the end of the week to avoid all those cavorting conventioneers, but I had no idea that what I really would be avoiding is all those over-anxious cops.
Many of my friends are sending around group emails, describing raids on houses, cars and vans being pulled over if they have out of state plates and so on. (You can read about many of the actions at the The Daily Planet.

I like the mayors of both Minneapolis and St. Paul a lot, and this sort of action doesn't sound like anything they'd support, so I wonder who's behind it. Maybe they were warned that there were imminent attacks, sort of like WMD, and if security wasn't as tight and sharp as razor wire that things could really blow up. I have no idea, but will ask people I know who are there to see what they say.

The whole convention sounds like a nightmare for my home town, from it's first configuration featuring Stumble Bum-in-chief and his evil handler Dick, to the pre-Gustav dodge ("We got more important things to do down here on the ground in N'awlins") to the current Gustav make-over featuring Laura and Cindy taking up collections for hurricane relief. (Maybe they should take one for Bristol as well, a baby shower of support, a thank you "for choosing life." )

I'll post links or any emails I get that try to explain some of this. And for now, I'm just very glad not to be there.

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