Hard Right Eight

She's an advocate of creationism.

She doesn't believe in abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, choosing to trumpet her own admirable decision to have her own baby while overlooking that she desperately wants to take such decision-making away from other women.

She's used her power to manipulate law enforcement, engage in cronyism, and wipe clean her record online (no wonder she was endorsed by both Bush and McCain).

She's in the pocket of Big Oil.

She doesn't believe in global warming, and went on Glenn Beck to say so.

She ran a $20 million-dollar debt as Mayor of Wassilla.

She supported Pat Buchanan for President in 1996 and 1999.

She seems confused about whether or not she supported the "Bridge To Nowhere."

She's a favorite of James Dobson.

She was for Hillary Clinton, except when she was against her.

She seems confused about the job for which she's running.

She sat and chuckled as radio hosts mocked a cancer survivor (and as they called the woman a "bitch").

America, I give you your new 'maverick,' 'hockey mom' vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin!

Building on my good friend Bob's joke, I think I might have preferred Michael Palin, particularly if he was playing the kind animal lover in A Fish Called Wanda...

Yesterday, I honestly didn't know what to think of this VP pick. The Babe and I discussed it a lot via email and phone calls, and I think we both agreed that it's born of rank and desperate political calculation. Which doesn't mean it won't work.

Clearly designed as a strategic move to peel away the shrinking group of supposed PUMA voters, McCain's pick of Palin also seems designed to keep presumptive Obama supporters (and Obama himself) off-guard. Jane Hamsher, one of my favorite bloggers, seemed a bit gun-shy yesterday about criticizing Palin's inexperience, and the "XXX Factor" bloggers at Slate, who've had some excellent commentary this political season, seemed so dazzled by the prospect of a female veep that they praised the pick to the sky, while overlooking how bad Palin was on actual issues (to say nothing of how insulting the idea of Palin=Clinton really is: in experience and ideology, they are almost polar opposites ); Dahlia Lithwick even said that the McCain campaign knew how to "game" the system better than Obama did, a Freudian slip that might say more about the vapid, Republican-friendly media than Lithwick intended (Frank Rich also reminds us of how bizarre such a remark is, given that Obama might be the most techno-savvy Presidential candidate since JFK).

That was yesterday, though, and as time has passed and more information about Palin has come out, I actually wonder how long she'll remain on the ticket. I don't doubt that Palin carries appeal for many middle-class voters, particularly evangelicals. And I'd like a female vice-president, too (although I wonder why Palin would be an acceptable substitute for some Clinton supporters, but the far more accomplished and interesting Kathleen Sebelius-- who I was hoping Obama might choose-- was vociferously shot down by Clinton supporters this summer as an insulting stand-in for Hillary). But I don't want this far-right woman, a theocrat through and through, anywhere near the White House. The Babe suggested last night that the best thing Team Obama could do would be to congratulate Palin, and say, "We look forward to debating her on the issues." That most essential of commentators, the fabulous Digby, said something similar today, and I think they are both correct: yes, Palin's inexperience is an issue, because John McCain made that question central to his attacks on Obama this year. But let's take the GOP at face value and look at Palin's record and expreriences: there's more than enough odiousness underneath Palin's personable life-story that the campaign can and should go after. After a slightly shaky start, that seems to be the Obama campaign's move, and they've rightly adjusted back to the main question: Palin or not, do you really want Colonel Tigh as your President?:

Sarah Palin, radical break with the Republican past? Only if we ignore what Rich notes in the closing lines of his Op-Ed: "As Obama said, this is a big election. We will only begin to confront the magnitude of our choice when and if we stop being distracted by small, let alone utterly fictitious, things."


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