Monday, October 27, 2008

Sorry Rocks--Or: Governor Palin & the Reverends Wright and Hagee

Earlier, in a moment when I let myself get carried away, I referred to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as "dumber than a box of rocks." Since then, there have been a world of happenings and events, all forcing me to re-think my position: I owe an apology to rocks and boxes the world over.

A shockingly large number of boxes . . .

What does it mean, that Governor Palin is substantially dumber than even an inanimate object? Just this: a box of rocks just sits there. It might not do any good, but at least it doesn't do any harm. For the GOP, would that Governor Palin had that level of competence, or even common sense. No such luck.

I have mentioned at length my outrage over Governor Palin's lies and hypocrisy--for example, over 'earmarks,' over her claim that Alaskans will 'build their own bridges" to no where, her "knowledge" of Russia based on geography instead of book learnin'--and if anyone (anyone? Please...I don't mind...Really!) wants to know more, I'm ready. But as we enter the final week of the Presidential campaign, Governor Palin has surprised even me at how she is rouged and ready to rogue, even to the extent she's willing to damage Senator McCain's Presidential ambitions.

. . . and rocks all insisted on presenting responsible, opposing points of view.

Clothes-gate (the fact that Governor Palin, Hockey Mom married to Joe Six-pack has her wardrobe bought for her from Neiman Marcus and Saks--but that's okay, because AFTER the campaign, those clothes will be given to 'charity'--oh please) and Trooper-gate (Governor Palin claiming the report on her actions trying to get an ex-brother-in-law fired completely vindicated her--when the report did just the opposite) would be bad enough in and of themselves--but there's more.

I stand second to none (that I am aware of) in the anger and contempt I hold for George HW Bush (not that you care, but his actions in the Iran-Contra scandal, the invasion of Panama, his despicable campaign against Governor Dukakis, and his denial of Gulf War Syndrome illness of vets from that war feature prominently). However, I recall during one of the early debates between Governor Dukakis and then VP Bush, members of the opposing political party were allowed to ask the best, most snarky questions they could think of.

Former President George HW Bush. Even though I do say something almost nice about him, I still hate the guy.

The Democrats' lead off hitter was Robert Strauss (I think it was Strauss--I could be wrong), and this was his question: "Vice President Bush, can you name a policy where you disagreed with President Reagan?" Vice President Bush put on his game face (and he had a mean game face--I never thought he was a 'wimp') and said "I COULD give you an example of a policy where I disagree with President Reagan--but I won't." VP Bush went on to rant/explain that loyalty was an important value in his family, and he didn't go around disagreeing willy nilly for kicks (I may be paraphrasing that last part).

No doubt that many old people (ie my age) will point out that President Reagan was very popular at that time--despite having an administration racked with scandal and corruption--and VP Bush needed to staple himself firmly on Reagan's coattails, if Bush was going to have any hope of becoming president. However, during his eight years as Vice President, Bush kept both himself and his staff on the Reagan straight and narrow--despite MANY opportunities to jump the rails when a Reagan policy jumped the shark. One last example--a shameful practice of the Reagan White House was to order all the Presidential helicopters to be constantly revved up as high as possible, without actually lifting off. That way, President Reagan could pretend that he couldn't hear any shouted questions from reporters. After VP Bush became President Bush, at one of President-elect Bush's first press conferences, Bush announced that the White House helicopters would no longer do that, with the President running away from shouted questions--that behavior was 'unseemingly' for the President of the United States. If those childish tricks were embarrassing to President Bush, surely they were embarrassing to Vice President Bush as well. But so far as I know, even after he was safely President, George HW Bush stayed a good soldier to President Reagan.

Contrast that behavior with Governor Sub-Box of Rocks. It's one thing to be kidding--but not really kidding--at the GOP Convention about how Governor Palin is going to 'convince' Senator McCain to drill in ANWR (Ha ha); but something else altogether when Senator McCain is trying to win over the moderate middle--and Governor Palin jumps off message to talk about an amendment to the federal constitution to block same-sex marriage.

Governor Sarah Palin. When she looks dumb, that's not a disguise.

Now, NONE of the four candidates are advocating for same-sex marriage. And those people who are homophobic to the point they need the 28th Amendment to our Constitution to provide "Thou Shalt Not be Gay and Married," those folks are already voting for Senator McCain, because that don't vote for "that one." But there are lots of people up for grabs who are concerned that a McCain administration might be more interested in cultural wars, than say the fact that the US stock market has lost 40% of its value, or $8.33 trillion USD, in the past 12 months. Economic conservatives and non-stupid people can see 21st century America has bigger fish to fry than theological debates of Adam and Eve and Steve.

But that's not even the worst that Sarah Palin has done. For reasons known only to Governor Palin and her god, Governor Palin is upset that Senator McCain has decided that criticism of Senator Obama's former minister, the Reverend Jeremiah 'God Damn America!' Wright is out of bounds. Shouldn't America hear a battery of attack ads, about how Senator Obama was loosely affiliated with a religious nut? Why WOULDN'T Senator John "Did I tell you about Bill Ayers?" McCain want to do that? Because such an attack would be unseemingly? Uh huh.

Here's my personal opinion (armed with which you can get a small coffee at Starbucks, plus three dollars). Unlike Governor Palin (and pretty much all boxes of rocks), Senator McCain knows that people who live in stained glass houses shouldn't throw religious screwball accusations. Here's what I mean: when in the state capitol, Governor Palin attends the Juneau Christian Center. Last year, the Reverend John Hagee spoke at the Center, bringing his own version of extra-biblical crazy to the True Believers of Juneau. How whacked is the Reverend Hagee?

The Reverand John Hagee. Does he kiss his mother with that dirty mouth? Wikipedia does not say.

A crazed homophobe even among homophobes, in 2006 the Reverend claimed Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans because "that Monday," a "homosexual parade" had been planned (No doubt the parade route included circling the Mississippi home of then GOP Senate President Trent Lott, also destroyed in the storm). As for Islam, in an interview on National Public Radio, the Reverend Hagee said "those who live by the Qur'an have a scriptural mandate to kill Christians and teaches that very clearly."

There was also a storm of controversy over the Reverend Hagee insisting the Roman Catholic Church was the "Great Whore" mentioned in the Christian Bible's Revelation of St. John. Still, in May 2008, Mr. William A. Donohue, the President of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, took Senator McCain's Presidential campaign to task for accepting an endorsement by someone so openly anti-Catholic. While Senator McCain broke all ties with the Reverend Hagee, the Reverend Hagee responded by apologizing to Mr. Donohue, and repudiated several of his previous opinions.

Ms. Deborah Kerr. One of my favorites, and not just because she's hot enough to blister paint. Ms. Marni Nixon had to sign a contract, promising never to reveal that she sang for Ms. Kerr in "The King & I." Ms. Kerr then promptly told anyone and everyone who would listen, to the detriment of Ms. Kerr's own career. When asked why, Ms. Kerr said "I didn't sign no [expletive] contract."

John Hagee also reads a reference to 'fishers' and 'hunters' and the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, meaning that to facilitate Christ's second coming, 'Jews' are urged to return to "Palestine" with positive motivation (the fishers), like Mr. Theodor Herzl and Zionism and with negative motivation, the 'hunters' ie anti-Semitic attacks and the Shoah. That said, John Hagee Ministries has donated $8.5 million USD, to help resettle Soviet Jews in Israel, and the San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council awarded Pastor Hagee with its "Humanitarian of the Year" award.

Nevertheless, you'd think a vice president, of all people, would at least know enough to play follow the damn leader, if not stay away from Compare the Religious Crazies. But I think that's the problem: for Governor Palin--like the Reverend Hagee--it will always be news to her that her views of god and the world are not embraced by America.

But what does she care; She's on a mission from god.

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