Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Sarah Palin Dead Pool - Day 1

I'm starting the Sarah Palin Dead Pool today. I'm taking bets on how long she remains on the Republican ticket, because it's becoming clear to me that she won't be on the ticket for too long.

Just touching the highlights of Palin's candidacy, since Friday we've learned that:

She was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a fringe secessionist group in the 1990s. "Country First" or "Alaska First", which is it for Palin?

She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Either way, she's upset many of her fellow Alaskans by using the phrase and by claiming opposition to it nationally, after supporting it in her home state.

Palin has lawyered up in the Troopergate scandal, belying her assertions of innocence.

The New York Times reports that
the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice.
That's not "change we can believe in", that's the same old shit we saw in post-invasion Iraq.

Marc Ambinder writes that the FBI was not involved in the vetting of Palin, contrary to the statements of the McCain campaign:
"The FBI did not participate in a vet, nor did it run a background check of Gov. Palin as part of the process"
So instead of "ready from day one", they're lying to us from day one.

The local Alaskan media is none too impressed with the selection of their governor as the Republican vice presidential nominee, either. The Anchorage Daily News reported that
Anchorage Democratic state Sen. Hollis French said it's a huge mistake by McCain and "reflects very, very badly on his judgment." French said Palin's experience running the state for less than two years hasn't prepared her for this.
I thought McCain was the experienced one! Guess experience doesn't matter much, when it's the wrong kind of experience.

Her 17-year-old unmarried daughter Bristol Palin is pregnant. The campaign only released this news on Monday to refute pervasive internet rumors that Palin's 5-month-old son is really her daughter's, her pregnancy faked in order to protect Bristol. Sarah Palin herself is radically anti-abortion, opposed to allowing abortions even in cases of incest, rape, or domestic abuse. Palin is also an advocate of abstinence-only sex education

Her daughter's pregnancy, whether the first or second one, is of no consequence in this election. The issue is how totally, completely unqualified Palin is for the office of vice president, and how this reflects on the judgment of John McCain.

It's becoming increasing apparent that the McCain campaign did not vet Palin at all, that the only vetting was done by the secretive and ultra-conservative Council for National Policy, a network of far-right politicians, religious leaders, and financiers. Palin appealed to their efforts to subvert the Constitution and establish a fundamentalist Christian government in the United States. Finally and firmly, the McCain campaign has bound itself to the religious right, in an obvious effort to pander for conservative votes.

Faced with an Obama campaign and Democratic party coming out of their convention unified and energized, McCain panicked and chose the most radical candidate, a woman who not coincidentally was also the sole female VP candidate who was anti-abortion. McCain's personal choice of Joe Lieberman was anathema to the ultra-conservative wing of the party, as was Tom Ridge. Any of the highly qualified women in the Republican party, such as Olympia Snow or Kay Bailey Hutchinson, were also discarded on the basis of their pro-choice beliefs. Palin was offered the position without consultation with Alaskan politicians and business leaders, without vetting, without a responsible examination of her background and financial and personal history, without checking anything other than her appeal to the evangelical extremists that make up the Republican "base".

This was McCain's Hail Mary pass, a desperate ploy to command the news cycle and stay competitive with Obama. I don't believe that the majority of American women are so stupid that they'll base their vote on gender alone. With two wars, a recession, health care, up to four Supreme Court vacancies in the next four to eight years, four-dollar-a-gallon gas, global warming, and nuclear proliferation, American women and men are smarter than McCain gives them credit. I don't believe that, come November 4th, Sarah Palin will still be on the Republican ticket.

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