Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Bridge To Nowhere

I'll be interested to see how McCain's nomination of newly-minted Alaska Governor Sarah Palin plays out during the White Man's Party (WMP) convention this week--and after.

I remember being disgusted (for the billionth time) during the primaries at how some WMP voters, following the instructions of one or another megalomaniacal talk show host, flocked to Democratic polls in open primary states to try and sway the opposition's choice of candidate toward someone they thought would be easier to assail. They declared their movement to be the last word in political savvy, but I thought it was shamefully anti-democratic and cynical and far removed from "family values." It seemed like a bunch of win-at-any-cost frat boy MBAs hiding behind Hitler's pronouncement that "History will not ask the victors if they were right." (The idea that the people speak--one person, one vote--and their preferences are thus represented in government is a simple and, I would think, a sacred one for those who care about self-government.)

This choice of Sarah Palin feels like the same thing. On the surface it seems rather shrewd, offering an alternative to independent women voters who were willing to move toward Hillary Clinton in order to right one of history's great wrongs. But that's exactly what it is: a maneuver for votes, a tactic pursued not because she is even close to the strongest candidate for the job but because she makes for an excellent snow-job. It's a calculated move to capture the votes of a group whose wants and convictions are nowhere in the WMP platform. (Indeed, I would wager that virtually no male Republican acknowledges that there is anything wrong with over 200 years of exclusively white male rule.)

Does anybody think for a second that Palin would be on the WMP ticket on her own, without having the paternal McCain lording over her? Does anyone believe that WMP members think of ANY woman as a worthy candidate for the nation's highest office? Shouldn't we look at our Vice Presidential candidates exactly as we do the Presidential ones? Palin is attractive to the WMP to exactly the extent that she is able and willing to further an agenda which goes against her own self-interest: she believes that neither she nor any other woman can be trusted to control her own reproductive system; as a card-carrying NRA member (which is about as representative of women in general as Liberace was to men in general) she is happy to push an agenda of men who would prefer she man the bake sale table; she is happy to work to keep her god in schools and, by this, to announce herself and her daughters as second-class citizens to her biblically-supreme husband. (Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, very nearly won the nomination to the top spot--via the votes of the people--on her merits, and not as someone else's pawn in a strategic power play.)

In the end, I can't imagine they'll get much traction from the subterfuge. The body of voters who might come toward the WMP because of Palin's presence on the ticket is small, I imagine, compared to the numbers of white guys who don't want ANY woman a heartbeat from the Presidency. Also, her lack of experience completely neuters much of the WMP case against Obama, as her experience is but a fraction of his own; so they've closed the door on what I assume was to be their chief strategy.

I would have thought this all entirely moot, given the swirling toilet bowl popularity in the waning days of History's Worst President. I cannot honestly imagine anyone, for any reason, voting WMP in this election. Still, I don't have the kind of mind to see what might be coming, and Karl Rove et al. are not to be misunderestimated, as our glorious chief might say.


dbackdad said...

Palin's definitely an interesting choice. It can certainly be seen as a calculated political move to pander to either women or religious conservatives. But from witnessing McCain's tactics for the last 15 years, I suspect that the choice was not based, to a large extent, on those two things. McCain, and he readily admits this, likes to make decisions with the gut and then suffer the consequences (good or bad). His campaign rises and falls with his impulses. There is not the political calculus of a Rove-ran campaign.

wunelle said...

PZ Myers has a telling glimpse into Palin's mind here.

CyberKitten said...

dbackdad said: McCain, and he readily admits this, likes to make decisions with the gut and then suffer the consequences (good or bad).

...and this guy could be in charge of the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world soon? We are *so* screwed!

wunelle said...

Actually, there may be a god after all. Not only is the WMP convention being upstaged by an Act Of The Mythological Construct, but Sarah "Family Values" Palin's 17-year-old daughter is now confirmed to be five months pregnant! Ha!

CyberKitten said...

God does have a cracking sense of humour & amazing timing doesn't He?


dbackdad said...

CK said, "...and this guy could be in charge of the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world" -Kinda brings to mind Dr. Strangelove, doesn't it?