Sunday, August 31, 2008

More on Sarah Palin

So you are in your first major elected position, and you have 4 kids, and then you find out you're pregnant, and then you find out the child will have Down Syndrome. Geez, pretty challenging circumstances.

And then you start hearing your name mentioned as a possible VP. Wow, what the hell is going on here? Are you guys nuts? Uh, my plate is already pretty full.

So against all the odds, crazy old Johnny Mac actually gives you the call. What do you say? What are you thinking?How do you wrap your head around the fact that you might go from part-time mayor of a small town in the middle of nowhere to heartbeat-from-the-presidency in 2 years?

Well, if you are a rational person, using normal thought processes, you don't. You can't. It doesn't make any sense, and you know it. So you say, Thank you so much for thinking of me, I am deeply honored, Senator, but I have to say no thank you.

But if you are an evangelical Christian, a Pentecostal Christian in fact, you have grown used to stories of miracles, of things that just can't happen somehow happening. You have read The Cross and the Switchblade, and you know how people "step out in faith," taking on mortgages to buy properties that are miles over their heads, and then having God miraculously come to their rescue at the last second by having some rich Christian businessman send them an unsolicited check for the exact amount they needed--some fabulous amount of money, right to the penny--$139,853.54 Praise God!

You can see yourself as David to Washington's Goliath, as Caleb, the only one who believed God and disregarded the giants in the land, as the Virgin Mary, for crying out loud, going about your business in boring old Nazareth, from whence nothing good ever comes, and cast John McCain as the angel Gabriel!

You can use your magical thinking and call it faith and get out of the boat and have a go at walking on water.

Right up until you sink like a stone, just like all the other water-walking messiahs out of disrespected backwaters.

Maybe there will be a crucifixion, with liberals playing the part of the Sadducees and Pharisees and the New York Times as Pontius Pilate.

Or maybe you will just fade away, find a likely excuse and give the answer you should have given in the first place--I am honored, but I am not ready to be Vice-President, thank you all the same.

In the real world, Santa Claus doesn't exist, and gravity does, and all the magical thinking in the world won't make a backwater, half-a-term governor into a senior statesman ready to step into the presidency.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah? Really?

Since yesterday morning, when I learned that McCain had chosen a woman named Sarah Palin as his VP, I haven't been able to stop thinking and reading and shouting about it. It is the single stupidest thing I have ever known a politician do.

Oh, it does have some political plausibility. She's a Pentecostal Christian who believes in Creationism and opposes abortion under every and all circumstances. She's pro-guns and anti-environmentalism. So it seems like it might appeal to some folks who mistrust McCain.

But is there any way in hell that anyone can pretend to believe that McCain put Country First in making this choice? Is there any way that people can will themselves to believe that after looking over all possible candidates for Vice President, this PTA mom's name rose to the top of the list on her merits alone? Is this really the second-best person in the country to get that 3 am phone call? Is there anything whatsoever in her resume that would suggest that she's ready to be governor, much less vice president, or God forbid, president? Running New York City doesn't really prepare you to be president. How does running Wusilla, or even the entire state of Alaska (population 683,478, ie a fair-sized American city, but certainly no New York or Chicago. In fact, it would be # 17 if it were a city, between Austin and Fort Worth Texas.)

And I don't care if it sounds un-feminist of me, but no mother worthy of the name goes back to work 3 days after her special-needs baby is born, and then takes on a new job more demanding than anything she's ever done before.

If this doesn't sink John McCain, then it will surely sink the whole country. It is a disgrace to the Republican party, and I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out like that Harriet Miers thing, where a woman manifestly unqualified for the job has to be withdrawn from contention.

I would hesitate to hire a woman with her resume as president of a community college, and McCain is offering her to us as the person he most trusts to take over the reins of the country if something were to happen to him? No way, no how, no McCain!! Go get her, Hillary!!