So the McCain camp did a bangup job of stealing the news cycle from Obama and his sturdy acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention by picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. Now that the dust has settled a bit, let's talk about the pick not just on its commercial exploitation merits but on who the lady is and what the pick says about McCain, his party, and the people that this is supposed to attract.
First off, although I wrote about the pick with some admiration in my last post, this was based solely on how it managed to control the media narrative. As far as Palin as an actual candidate, she's a bit of a joke. As many have noted before me, she completely undercuts the McCain campaign's argument against Obama that he doesn't have enough experience. And any McCain VP will really need it. You may have noticed, or you may have been reminded, but he's a bit long in the tooth and, healthwise, he's not exactly Jack LaLanne.
Palin is not only 100% anti-choice (a term I hate, although I hate both pro-choice and pro-life; who's against either choice or life?), she's for drilling in ANWR and anywhere else she can, and she believes we should be teaching creationism in our schools. James Dobson of Focus on the Family is thrilled with her. This should tell you everything you need to know.
But policy aside, it is blatantly, patently, painfully obvious to anyone with even a marginally functioning noggin that she was picked because she's a woman. You don't need me to tell you this. There will undoubtedly be some who will vote McCain's way solely because of this pick. There's a word for these people and it isn't "feminist". It's "gullible". As Kizz noted in comments to my last post, "the only reason the GOP thinks she's a good pick is because they think women are stupid enough to vote because someone has a vagina instead of because the person has a brain." Not much I can add to that. This is not a gift to you, women. It's an insult.
But unfortunately, as bald as this tactic is, they will undoubtedly gain more than they lose from it. For every Kizz out there, there is a Kimberly Myers. In a recent NYT article, Ms. Myers, a former Clinton supporter, said, “I think it’s absolutely fantastic...She’s actually broken the glass ceiling.” Ah, yes. So Hillary does all of the work and then this person comes in to eat the doughnuts and gets credit from Ms. Myers for being used as a political stunt. Memo to Ms. Myers: This particular ceiling has already been broken. And it was a stunt then too. Congratulations. You've officially been had.
There may not actually be a Kimberly Myers for every Kizz out there. But there doesn't need to be. There only needs to be one for every 5 or 10 Kizzes. That's enough. The Kizzes of the world weren't going to vote for McCain anyway, so he couldn't care less about them. He'll take what he can get and not concern himself with being labeled a rank opportunist.
The GOP rails against identity politics when it's used by others. But when it suits their purposes they have no problem using it. They've done it many times before. This is only the most glaring example of it. It's unbelievably cynical. But they wouldn't do it if they didn't think it would work. And if you criticize them, well, I guess you just don't want that glass ceiling broken.
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