I’ve been floundering for a few days now debating on whether or not to post about McCain’s VP choice. I feel sickened, insulted and a little hopeless. I don’t even feel like posting in full anymore. Instead, I’ll point to some posts of interest.
I think time will show that McCain did Palin a disservice. Even if she is qualified for the VP job, discerning individuals will see her appointment as a ploy. This is not to say that she should be underestimated. I have no doubt that, if put into a position of power, Palin would derail many advances made in education, the environment, energy, reproductive rights and GBLT rights. But hey, she’s smart, attractive and not immediately threatening to the masses, unlike that Hillary woman. Grit teeth. Well, wait. I think I feel just as threatened by Palin as the rest of America seemed to feel threatened by Clinton. Both possess the potential to upset the status quo but in vastly different ways. Judgments may be a bit premature and unfair to Palin, who hasn’t had the chance to prove herself… on a national or international scale… eh, right, that’s just the problem, isn’t it?
The media is at its worst too. I wish I could find where I read this but one news source seemed to claim the simple fact that Palin has Russia and Canada as neighbors to the state she governs MUST translate into Palin having foreign diplomatic experience. Blink. Who is buying this? Palin’s RNC speech didn’t do much to address this specific lack of experience. McCain doesn’t have a particular flair for foreign diplomacy that I’m aware of (I guess warmongering could be considered a policy), it would be nice if his VP choice was strong in this area.
And then there was the ‘Palin is a book-banner’ alert. I first learned of this yesterday via Jessamyn’s post. The gist: Palin contacted her local librarian while she was mayor about banning books and, when the librarian balked, Palin threatened to fire her. Sources are here and here. I was hoping to see more concrete evidence or a statement from the librarian, who eventually resigned. Seriously, Times, NY Times, printing a claim without substantial evidence breeds sensationalism. Try a little investigative journalism, please.
Finally, this is why I feel a little hopeless. As Bethany recently speculated, Palin does seem to hold the appeal-to-the-masses card. I can do all of the groaning and gesticulating I want- if this woman truly represents the People, then I guess I’m outnumbered and nothing will change. Unless, of course, you are a gay couple who wishes to be married, a sexually active teen who hasn’t had the benefit of safe sex education, a rape victim who can’t obtain an abortion even though pregnancy could have been avoided if hormone-regulating contraceptives had not been outlawed, or anyone who wants a planet for humanity to live on in two hundred years- for these folks, things will become much, much worse.
But you know me, where’s the bright side? Er, I’m still looking, although this NY Times piece provided affirmation for a long-held suspicion: the gross national product is higher when a Democrat holds the presidential office. Likewise, the average family income growth is also higher when there is a Democratic president and that growth is more pronounced in the poorest strata of society. The opposite is true when a Republican is president: only the very, very rich see a significant increase in income growth. Compelling.