Friday, September 5, 2008

Why Sarah Palin Hates Me

The Hockey Mom with all her little pucks

Here’s a news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to win their good opinion.
Governor Sarah Palin, speech accepting GOP nomination for VP

I heard a pretty good joke the other day:

Q: What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?
A: I don’t know, but without more experience, neither of them have any business being vice president.

A September 4 Rasmussen poll reported that a whopping 51% of Americans think ‘reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage.’ Additionally, the same national telephone survey also found that among voters unaffiliated with a political party, 37% thought Ms. Palin was better qualified than Senator Obama to be President. September 4th also saw a Sarah Palin news conference, where she denounced the ‘Obama-Biden Democrats’ for being ‘vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family, and John McCain.’ Notably, Ms. Palin did not take questions from reporters.

Is the press trying to hurt Sarah Palin in their news coverage? Are all the commentators who dare to suggest that perhaps 18 months as governor of one of the smallest states in terms of population might not be enough of a stepping stone to the vice presidency? Say what’s in your heart, Ms. Palin: You’ve had it with those effete intellectual snobs and their nattering nabobs of negativism, and you’re not going to take it any more!

I admit it: I am a snob. I went to a good school—several good schools, in fact. I read lots of books. I listen to National Public Radio. And I look down on stupid people.

What do I mean by stupid people? If you lived in South Carolina in 2000, and did not vote for John McCain, because you thought he fathered a child out of wedlock with a black prostitute, you are stupid. If you live in South Carolina, and did not vote for Mitt Romney, because you thing he sent you a ‘Mormon’ themed Christmas card, you are a moron. And you are also less than smart, if you think being the ‘mayor’ of Wasilla, Alaska (pop less than 6,000) is ‘executive experience’ sufficient to be President of the United States.

Is the press out to get Sarah Palin? God, I hope so. But no, they really aren’t. Then again, I might have different standards for what ‘out to get’ means. For example, would reporting the following be ‘trying to hurt’ Ms. Palin? The population of Alaska is 683,000, more than Fort Worth but less than San Francisco. That means Alaska is comparable to the seventeenth largest city in America. While I sure the mayors of both Ft. Worth and San Francisco are fine people, I would not consider them prepared to be vice president after 18 months. Or how about pointing out that if John McCain wanted a woman on the ticket, as Robert J. Elisberg says in ‘The Worst Vice-President Nominee in History’ (, why not Christine Todd Whitman, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Elizabeth Dole, or Susan Collins? Say what you will about those women, but they have real resumes. None of that is incorrect, much less a ‘lie,’ but does that qualify as a ‘vicious attack?’

I wouldn’t be lying if I said that the seventeen year old daughter of Ms. Palin, self-described ‘Hockey Mom,’ was five months pregnant. Is that a ‘vicious attack’ on Ms. Palin’s daughter? Would it make a difference if I said that in 2008 America, seventeen year old girls being five months pregnant is 'bad'? How about if I said ‘Abstinence only’ sex education, and prohibiting sex education in public schools does a disservice to teenagers, because we as a nation cannot rely on parents to teach their children about birth control. For example, look at the Governor of Alaska. Is that 'vicious'?

At what point are the following statements ‘vicious attacks’ and evidence that snobby commentators (I’m making comments while being snobby, so count me in) are out to ‘get Sarah Palin? Nevertheless, I would argue all the comments are, in fact, true statements.

a. Historically, Sarah Palin has the least amount of governmental experience of any nominated vice president in the history of the Republic, certainly in modern times. While there is no hard and fast rule about what is ‘good enough,’ eighteen months as governor of Alaska, mayor of Wasilla, and one trip to Iraq with a stop in Ireland is not enough. McCain could—and should have—done better.

b. The fact that Sarah Palin is a long time opponent of sex education, with the exception of ‘abstinence only’ education, on the grounds that such instruction should be left in the capable hands of parents, makes her a hypocrite: She either cannot, or will not, take the time to teach her own daughter about birth control. If Ms. Palin cannot teach responsible behavior to her own children, what makes her think she should be telling anyone else how to raise their kids?

c. During her acceptance speech, when Sarah Palin said about the ‘Bridge to Nowhere:’ ‘I told congress thanks, but no thanks. If we want a bridge, we’ll build it ourselves,’ that was a lie. First, while Ms. Palin did not build the bridge from Ketchikan (pop 8900) with the airport on Gravina Island with the $220 million earmark Senator Stevens secured, she certainly did not send the money back to the treasury. That money went on to build some other infrastructure in Alaska. And when was the last time Alaska engaged in any significant public works project, without federal funds ie built it themselves? Here’s a clue: it rhymes with ‘never.’

d. When Republican spinmeisters talk about how Ms. Palin has more ‘executive’ experience than any other candidate (as opposed to the ‘legislative experience’ of Senators Obama, Biden, and even McCain), they are just blowing smoke up your posterior. Being a Senator—or even a Congressman—is excellent experience for the ins and outs of running the federal government. That’s why so many candidates for President are Senators.

e. Those glasses of Governor Palin really get on my nerves.

(The correct answer, if you haven’t figured it out, is ‘e’).

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