United States of Motherhood: You Maverick You!

Friday, August 29, 2008

You Maverick You!

Go soccer moms of the world.

I am still digesting Palin. Wow! Sarah? Not Elizabeth Dole. Not Condi? What could it mean?

I sit here and I think. and think. and think.

Then, I realize her choice is a foil. Not for McCain, but to highlight Obama's shortcomings.

If the O/B tickets points out her inexperience, it highlights Obama's. In fact she has more "executive experience" than the entire Democratic ticket.

If they point out gender, we are reminded that Obama was a fool not to choose Hillary.

If they point out McCain's health/age and the fact Palin could easily being in charge, we see that Obama's choice of experience , by choosing Biden, has had two brain aneurysms.

If they point out her inexperience with war, we see she has the most to lose sending her son to Iraq soon. She won't make decisions lightly.

They point out her age, we see Obama is a mere two years older.

If they compare Biden's experience to Palin's, Palin's outsider status and report card of reform makes her more the agent of this "change" over choosing a 36 year senator with six consecutive terms who received less than 1 % of the primary vote over Hillary. Now who is the sexist? Now who's judgment is in question? Now who's temperament--cutting off his nose to spite his face--is in question?

Palin is integrity. She is grit. She is an outsider. She is a reformist. She once worked successful in an energy committee with Barack and received his praise. She is a mother of five--one with special needs. She is an union worker. She is the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket. She might just help blow O/B out of the water.

Wow! McCain the maverick is back! Shaking up what people thought of him. What a torpedo. He just pulled all the attention from DNC and put it on Sarah without spending one campaign dollar. Crafty!

I'm still thinking...but there's a smile on my face, my friends.


carrie said...

I was surprised to see his choice be a woman, I admit.

It's her stand on women's issues that personally scare the heck outta me.

Grim Reality Girl said...

This IS a very interesting choice! I see good and bad on both sides.... this election is becoming a tougher and tougher decision!

Amelia said...

I just emailed you about this m'dear, before I saw your post. I think you've answered my questions and yes perhaps she is a foil in some ways.

I must admit to being almost in tears over the choice, and somewhat humiliated somehow. She is, after all, as anti-choice as they possibly come, a gay rights inhibitor of the worst order and as I understand it, supportive of teaching creationism in schools although I'm not sure she is a creationist herself? Perhaps she is. I just feel that this is the kind of decision that makes morons out of right-voters.

My take on it, before reading of the foil theory, was simply that McCain hoped to pick up two groups - the disenchanted Hilary supporters who are now wavering or lost and angry, and the former Hucakbee supporters (big numbers in some States, right?) who vowed not to turn out at the polling booths unless Huckabee was the candidate (essentially over pro-life issues). I presumed he was pandering to them.

I am pretty gutted.

Beau said...

I'm not prepared to leave any thoughts on this. I need to do some research. But I do want to subscribe to these comments.

Ashley said...

Your blog is great! And this is such an interesting post. I agree that it was a unique choice, and probably had lots to do with the fact that now America must decide between the first black president OR the first female vice-president. I don't know much about politics but this is getting interesting!

Scout's Honor said...

Carrie : Yep, huge surprise that it was a woman and especially that particular governor. That's why I knew it had to be strategy. It's pretty brilliant if it works out.

I also hear the woman can make a pretty speech so it brings some charisma and flash to the Republican ticket.

Grim Reality Girl: Yep, it is entertaining as American politics go. Surprises all around for me that both tickets have who they have. Shocking really.

I thought two years ago it would be all about New York: Rudy Guiliani against Hillary.

Amelia: Me too. Was going to respond to email then saw this. So yes, I think it's gutsy strategy. It fits perfectly and worked how I thought it would today.

The day after the Dem Conv., Clinton speeches, Obama speech, and all network buzzed on and on about Palin and Obama's speech was pretty much lost in the chatter. Today, CNN, FOX, NBS, etc. all keep going on and on about Palin. You really can't pay for coverage like this. And, just like a thought, they had some pundits talking on a CNN show and the Dem brought up inexperience and being "a heartbeat away" and the Repub says isn't that exactly Obama, but "he is the heartbeat?"

I crowed.

So called it.

As for her positions, she's taken on big oil. She's taken on corruption. She is a mom of a soldier so she knows the sacrifice. Economic reformer. These are all great qualities.

As for creationism, eh? Not cool, but then it might help some kids understand what a large portion of Christians believe as long as it's next to evolution in the classroom. I took a bible as literature class in high school and it was so informative and incredibly helpful later on with literary references.

I know, I know. You think I'm gone crazy, eh? Where did Scout go? Open minded for an agnostic, but if it's taught as "some believe this," but "science says this," hard to believe, but I'm okay with intelligent design. If it helps with understanding why people think the way they think, it just adds to a rich education.

As for her other stands, I don't know enough. However, I do know sometimes politicians go hard-line on a issue to get elected. Having lived in Alaska, it's not like Seattle. People cared so very little for environment, oil was a strong employer, hunting and fishing was big, and there were a lot of churches. Pretty conservative.

So, she might have catered her message a bit and might just become a bit milder to become a more palatable Palin to the nation.

It sounds terrible, but it's a fact that American politicians shift on their issue all the time. I mean, my gawd, look at Obama. He was voted most liberal in the Senate was it last year? Now he's come so far right that he made it into the primary.

It's a funny thing about having a two party system is that it brings candidates to the middle in presidential races. It's one of the reasons that the government is so stable. I've heard a lot of Europeans see Democrats and Republicans often as homogenous and indistinguishable from the other.

I think she'll come around and we must remember, the presidential executive is relatively weak, so I don't worry about her gay rights or pro-life stand. I personally don't believe in abortion, but wish it just didn't factor into the legal system. I also wish tax dollars didn't subsidize same abortions and that parents had more right when it came to underage pregnant children. So, it will take way more than a pro-life VP to reframe the issue in the American political forum. No worries there.

Beau: Just follow my lead, 'cause your wife is always right on the right, right?

Ashley: Thanks! I have fun with this blog. I'm glad you enjoy it. It's a mishmash of everything, just like my brain. Lately, the typos and mis-spellings are killing me though. I told my husband that maybe I needed to defrag my brain. I honest to gawd spelled rule, "rool." It might as well have been drool. Commit me now, eh?

carrie said...

Hey - I lived in Alaska too! From 84-86, I was in 5th and 6th grade. And you are right, of course we were there for the fishing industry that my father was in charge of . . . it's a different world up there, sigh.

Anyway I loved what you said about 'intelligent design' as I also took the Bible as Lit class (but don't ask me to remember most of it) in college. I think it is EXTREMELY useful to understand where others are coming from and what their beliefs are, even if you think they are batshit crazy! So, yay for all that.

And yes, we all have the issues that are important to us personally and whose which take precedence over all others -- and that's why she scares me, her anti-gay and anti-choice stands. It's nice to hear that she won't have much pull, but still, to me - it's scary.

Thanks for the scintillating convo!

Amelia said...

Yes, you are right that it's a news coup (even here!) and yes it has worked for McCain in that respect. I still always see that as a little 'unfair' to the other side but of course it's politics and I would be (am) an idiot to find it objectionable, tee hee.

We loved Alaska, absolutely fell in love with the place, and we loved the north-west too. So beautiful. But yes, very different in Alaska! We went to Olympic National Park first and of course learned all about protecting bears and their habitats etc, then got into conversations with Alaskans a few weeks later where we would mention what we had learned, or bears would come up in conversation, and they would just look at me blankly and say "Well no, here we just shoot 'em, ma'am" (if they cross the park borders). Heh.

Mark said...

I'm happy to hear that you're happy about McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate; you're certainly more enthusiastic than I am about Joe Biden! Although I started the weekend bemused by the Palin pick, the more I hear about her, the more worried it makes me. That she is openly anti-gay, is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, has advocated teaching creationism in school, and appears to be to the right of the Bush administration on environmental issues (e.g. listing the polar bear, climate change) has me very nervous.

I definitely think you make some good points with your foil argument. I think her and Obama's perceived shortcomings might tend to mute each other, though, so that perhaps both sides are a little bit more insulated on questions of age and experience because neither can bring them up. As for the argument that the pundits are making that she'll attract Hillary voters, I'm not sure how many of Clinton's supporters will be able to swallow Palin's anti-gay, anti-choice views. Maybe they'll just stay home, which I guess is just about as good for McCain.

I teach a unit on evolution in most of my classes, so I can't resist going off on the question of intelligent design, which I find one Palin's most distressing values. Intelligent design is really just a trojan horse for sneaking religion (and a very specific religious view at that) into the science curriculum. It is not, however, science, and therefore has no place in a science curriculum. One of the main tenets of science is that any scientific hypothesis is testable and falsifiable. Intelligent design fails this because the existence of a creator is inherently not falsifiable. So teaching intelligent design within the context of a science curriculum gives students a misguided impression of how science actually works. People who advocate intelligent design aren't really concerned about public perceptions of science, though; they just want to shoehorn a very particular view of the world into a public school curriculum. I agree with your and carrie's comments that learning about different belief systems is valuable, and I completely agree that the Christian creation story is something that people ought to know, if only to know where the Sarah Palin's of the world are coming from. I just don't think such views should be taught as science.

Sorry for the windy comment, but as you can see, I get pretty riled up about this. Having four more years of someone in the executive office who has such patent disregard for science is truly distressing to me, even if she would be in the relatively weak role of VP.

Thanks for starting such an interesting conversation!

carrie said...

Oh yes, thank you for pointing that out - "Intelligent Design" should stay as far away from actual science as possible. I didn't even think about that!

Consequently, when I took that Bible as Lit class, I had a choice. I don't think these subjects should be 'required' courses, but offering them for electives under a 'social studies' or 'culture' genre would be okay.

Curious what everyone's views are on the news that Palin's 17-year-old daughter is 5 months pregnant? Do you think this will have any impact on the election?

And thank you SH, for allowing a thoughtful discussion to continue . . . :)

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