Previously, I’d seen John McCain’s VP pick as a no-win situation. He couldn’t pick Joe Lieberman because he’s Jewish and pro-choice (angering evangelicals), couldn’t pick Mitt Romney because he’s Mormon (angering evangelicals), and couldn’t pick Mike Huckabee since he’s a religious fundamentalist (angering independents). Seemed like Tim Pawlenty would be a safe, boring choice that wouldn’t excite anyone, especially since no one knows who he is.
But McCain’s choice of Alaska’s Sarah Palin shows that, by attempting to think outside the box, McCain has found a previously undiscovered way to lose a no-win situation. Seriously, choosing Palin is utterly ridiculous. Here are just a few reasons that I thought of without really trying:
1. Completely undercuts one of McCain’s main arguments against Barack Obama — that Obama lacks the experience to be president. If Obama isn’t experienced enough, what the hell is Palin? Should be hilarious to watch McCain and the republicans try to answer that one.
2. Introduces an issue that has not gotten nearly as much attention as it should — McCain’s age and health. It’s clear that McCain’s brain is already deteriorating, and with his advanced age, Palin is less than a heartbeat away from being president — it’s more like a half beat. Does anyone, including republicans, feel secure with the prospect of president Palin?
3. Alaska is already a republican state. No votes to pick up there.
4. McCain’s pick shows that he has essentially bought his own propaganda, believing that there are scads of Hillary Clinton supporters who won’t back Obama and need a reason to vote for McCain. While McCain and the corporate media spent all week talking about this phantom demographic, I think there are only a tiny number of such women who were given a disproportionately loud voice by the McCain campaign and the media trying to stir up trouble. If there are such women, my guess is that they were mostly disgusted republicans who were willing to cross party lines to see a woman become president. If there were any more, Hillary’s strong statements at the DNC will have left no doubt what supporting Hillary really means — voting with the democrats.
5. This is sure to infuriate the very powerful sexist wing of the republican party. I can’t imagine Rush Limbaugh supporting a woman president of any party.
6. Palin is in the middle of an
investigation over whether she used her influence to get her former brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, fired. When Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan refused to fire Wooten, Monegan was suddenly fired. Palin and her administration forcefully claimed they had nothing to do with it, but they had to reverse that stance when a tape surfaced of a call with one of her staff saying that Palin wanted Wooten fired. Firing dedicated public servants (a state trooper, no less), for political/personal reasons? DOJ attorney scandal, anyone?
7. Soon to be a YouTube sensation, Palin said in a CNBC interview that she doesn’t want to entertain the notion of being vice president until “someone answers for me what is it exactly the VP does everyday?” Why can’t she find out for herself? Don’t they have books and the internet in Alaska? If someone said I might be chosen as VP, I would find out myself what the VP does, not wait for someone to explain it to me. Maybe, like McCain and Bush, Palin is still learning how to use
8. Palin was the chairwoman of the
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which “oversees oil and gas drilling, development and production, reservoir depletion and metering operations on all lands subject to the state's police powers”. Just the change America needs — another VP looking to enrich the oil industry. Totally undercuts McCain’s claim that he bucks the repubs by being more green and is not in the pocket of Big Oil.
9. Zero foreign policy experience. McCain attacked Obama for not visiting Iraq enough while
Palin has never gone. The only possible concern in a Biden/Palin debate is that Biden crushes her so badly that she starts crying and people feel sorry for her.
Does McCain have any relationship at all with Palin? What in their “history” convinced him that she should be president? Does even McCain know?
11. Obama and Biden seem like a team — two smart men with different specialties who can advise each other and play off each other’s strengths, much like Bill Clinton and Al Gore. What does Palin bring to the table? What advice will McCain seek from her?
Palin thinks creationism should be taught in schools. Enough said.
13. Palin is anti-choice. While this might make the 10% of Americans who want all abortions outlawed happy, it will alienate the vast majority of Americans. Not everyone knows that McCain wants Roe vs. Wade overturned and will do so if he can get more Supreme Court justices, and when they find that out, they run from McCain. Now they have one more person to run from.
Palin doesn’t think humans have caused climate change. Another knock on McCain’s attempts at greenwashing.
15. If Palin became president, do you really think the Cheneys and Rumsfelds of the world would let her do anything? They'd send her to a quiet corner while the big boys took care of things. She’d just be another oil/corporate stooge, just like Bush.
16. Palin becoming president would do for women what Alberto Gonzales has done for Latinos and what Condoleeza Rice has done for black women — set them back a decade or more.
17. This is an example of McCain’s superior judgment?
18. Just try imagining a McCain/Palin in 2008 poster. Yeah, neither can I. And when I do, I get a hearty chuckle.
19. If McCain truly thinks that America is facing enormous challenges and dire threats from terrorists, Iran, Russia, China, and a crippled economy, why would he pick Palin to possibly be the leader of the free world?
20. The Alaska republican party is in tatters as it attempts to handle
multiple corruption scandals.
21. President Palin, leader of the free world. Just say it aloud. Everyone feel safer?
I’m sure this list will continue to grow and grow. Palin and the McCain campaign just ran into a buzzsaw of their own creation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Palin withdraws her name before the election.