McCain's choice of Sarah Palin a positive for Democrats in the short run at least
With respect to the McCain choice for VP, Governor Sarah Palin, I offer these thoughts:
As most have recognized, the choice negates any reasonable attack by Republicans on Obama about "experience." It also shows that McCain is a reckless, not very thoughtful person by the way he made the choice, unlike Obama's judgment in picking someone respected by elite opinion on both sides of the aisle. Somehow, I don't think many rabid Hillary supporters are defecting to the McCain camp for his choice of Governor Palin...
I also heard from a woman who is a pro-choice Republican (she called me at the hospital on Friday afternoon to see how I was doing yesterday) and said she is planning to vote for Obama because she is now convinced McCain will never change his position on abortion and other "women's issues." She was "insulted" by McCain's choice of Palin, as if choosing any woman would somehow cause her to think more positively toward McCain. She has her concerns about Obama, but has been encouraged that he chose one of her more favorite Democrats when it comes to matters of foreign policy, Senator Biden.
My mother, a classic Mom of the 1950s, is appalled that Governor Palin would, after giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome, take on traveling around the country with the goal of becoming Vice President of the US. I asked her if she thought it would be okay if it turned out the husband played "Mr. Mom." My mother replied that, during from her days working at a local school (she retired a few years ago), she got to know children with Down Syndrome and saw how hard both parents had to work with and for such challenged children. I think my Mom may be a bit old fashioned to the extent she seemed harsher on Governor/Mom Palin, but I did notice when watching the photo op with Governor Pallin that the elder daughter was holding the baby. If Pallin is expecting the daughter to do the hard things needed to be done with the child, then that is where I think both parents are acting selfishly.
I guess, if one wanted to be Karl Rove, or most Republican operatives who thrive on television, one could say something like this, which is an example of attacking the strength of the opposition candidate: "This woman had a Down Syndrome baby for a photo-op and push her anti-abortion cred. And then shoves the kid off on other family members or her husband. The woman's a narcissist."
Or maybe, if one wanted to have a preferably female-liberal attack pundit and somehow get on corporate-owned television networks, such a person could say something like this: "She looks like Sally Field and sounds like Katie Couric. I can never see her standing up to Putin's Russia or the Iranians. Like shooting unarmed moose in a controlled environment in Alaska is the same thing. Right."
And a favorite of mine: "What? Two years as governor? How about she became governor in December 2006, and then took time off for having her baby. How about a year to a year and a half? That's lame, folks. And Republicans need to stop their chronic lies and spinning over what is a deeply disturbing and poor choice. What has happened is a 72 year old guy, McCain has offered up someone a heartbeat away from the presidency, who, in a more heavily populated state, would rise no higher than a VP slot in a local PTA."
See how easy this is?
Oh wait, I forget. Foul, disgusting and loathsome "arguments" of this nature are only allowed to be uttered on corporate television if they are leveled at Democrats...
Well, gotta continue to rest up after my heart procedure, though I slept during the afternoon, and did nothing but watch television for most of the afternoon and evening last night and went to bed early for me.
However, I'd like to say this to Obama and Biden: Stick to the high ground. But don't castigate your supporters for attacking both McCain and Palin the way McCain and his fellow Republicans, past and present, attack Democratic Party candidates.
Also, if McCan and Palin can't take it and start to complain about the politics of personal attacks and destruction, I hope the few hardcore Democratic Party pundits can find their way onto corporate radio and television to again attack McCain for complaining, just as John McCain said of the attack books recently released against Obama, that Obama has got to "keep your your sense of humor." And if Palin complains about an unfair attack, then let's hope someone reminds her how, just this past spring, she condescendingly chided Hillary Clinton for "whining" to the media in response to personal attacks--regardless of whether the attacks against Hillary were "fair or unfair."
As I always say, Republicans run elections on two "principles": First, Republican pundits and campaign strategists personally attack the strongest characteristics of the Democratic candidates to undermine the legitimacy of the Democratic Party candidate (Gore's smart and detailed, so when he makes a long statement that may have a small error, he is dull and a serial liar, Dean is crazy when he is passionate, Kerry flip-flops when he considers new evidence, and Obama's a dangerously unprepared person and his inspiring speeches are more celebrity than statesmenlike).
Second, Republicans know elections are about one day of voting every two to four years. They therefore know that the point of spreading exaggerations and often lies about Democrats is to undermine voters' beliefs in the integrity or grit of Democratic candidates, all in order to get people to not vote for the Democrat on one day: Election day. That's why Cheney doesn't care about polls or what people think, for example. As a corollary to this second point, Republican strategists can count on issue-free "news analysis" (sic!) on corporate television and radio to highlight the attacks and a fear by that corporate media to consistently knock them down (for fear the Republicans and corporate execs at the media corporations) will attack them as "liberal" and "biased", which enables the Republican "message" to get through. Then, the corporate media folks say, "The attacks may be exaggerations or lies, but they're working..."
Notice the difference, however, in the way corporate media covered the ridiculous choice of Governor Palin as his VP candidate. Just imagine had Obama picked first term Kansas governor Sibelius, who has had far more experience in state politics than Palin. Republican spinner-attacks on Sibelius's lack of national experience, emails about her not being tough enough, etc. would have resonated throughout corporate media.
Bonus point: Karl Rove did a pre-emptive attack on how he thought Obama would choose a VP (this was before Obama picked Biden), yet reading the quote, he ironically described John McCain's motivations in picking Palin:
I think [Obama's] going to make an intensely political choice, not a governing choice," Rove said. "He's going to view this through the prism of a candidate, not through the prism of president; that is to say, he's going to pick somebody that he thinks will on the margin help him in a state like Indiana or Missouri or Virginia. He's not going to be thinking big and broad about the responsibilities of president.
Note to my doctors: This took me all of an hour last night and a few minutes this morning to blog about. I promise. I'm resting today and this week! As for readers of this blog who support or are voting for Obama-Biden, stay strong and fight corporate media attacks and distortions--and stenographic "reporting" of Republican spinmeisters.
(Edited and expanded into a separate post)