Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stepping Knee-deep in Moose Poop

Were only two days into the “real” campaign and John McCain is already in deep Kimchi over his nominee for V.P. This being the age of slime and TMZ the ruckus is about a specific teen pregnancy. Bristol Palin has become front page news due to her indiscression with fellow teen Levi Johnston. Politics being politics, every man and woman out there has hopped onto their favorite hobby horse and whipped it for all its worth.

Sarah Palin did John McCain an enormous disservice by not telling John McCain about her daughter’s pregnancy. The way this played out is an indictment of how not ready for prime time the Alaska governor is. Does the woman not know how the modern media works? Does she not understand how tabloidized the Corporate Media News has become? Did she not notice how John Edwards got savaged just a few short weeks ago?

The disgusting reality is that when you run for high public office you become fair game for the TMZ grist mill. John Edwards found that out, Elizabeth Edwards found that out, Rudi Giuliani found that out, even President George W. Bush found that out. The blogs were all a-twitter about W’s daughter’s party-girl antics. Other than titillation what did we gain from stories of naked presidential daughters dashing down hotel hallways? Other than possible embarrassment of W what was the point of publishing Barbra and Jenna Bush’s drunken bad behavior?

If Sara Palin did not understand the 24/7 news media’s insatiable need to feed our prurient interest someone on the McCain staff sure as shooting should have. Why the hell was she not examined closer? This was incredibly sloppy field work. What we are seeing here is both laziness and lack of forethought. We are seeing a shoot from the hip mentality. We are seeing far too little thought and way too much damage control. We are seeing a quick and cynical partisan decision made on nothing more that political consideration.

Sara Palin is a combination or rank political tokenism and pandering to the base. Those are her only “qualifications.” If Sara was a male, if she were Samuel Palin, the nomination of so unqualified a candidate would have been laughed out of the room. A “pro-life”, creationist, gun-toting, pro ANWAR drilling, Global Warming denying, anti-gay, abstinence-only education supporting male politician from Alaska ( who wants to de-list Polar Bears as an endangered species) would not be taken seriously as national candidate. But thanks to her anatomy Sara Palin made it to the top of the Republican ticket.

She does play well with the Christianist right. She is their dream girl. A mother of a passel of children and fiercely “pro life” she checks off all their wants and wishes. If however one is politically or socially moderate she is cause for concern. Her deep affiliation with Jerry Fawell set should set off alarm bells. This is the post baby-boom generation’s Phillis Schlafly. This fiercely right-wing woman is going to be a heart-beat away from the presidency.

It is quite obvious why McCain chose this woman, it’s a double pander. If we have learned anything about McCain is that in 2008 he is a large, economy-sized Pander Bear. He has snuggled up to W, he as snuggled up to the oil industry, he has snuggled up to the Christianist right, he has snuggled up to the NeoCons, he has snuggled up to the anti-tax set, he has snuggled up to corporate interests. The big myth of McCain is how much of a maverick he is. McCain has always been a crass political operator. He went moderate in 2000 as a tactic. Because W had the right sewn up in 2000, Johnny on the spot tacked left and went for the independent vote. He did this out of political necessity. After 2002 he fully embraced Bush both figuratively and literally.

Look at the McCain of 2008 and his stands, this is no maverick, this is a lock-step Grover Norquist clone. Anti-choice, pro drilling, pro business, anti-union, that is McCain now. He reinforced that policy description by bringing Sara Palin in as his V.P. pick. He picked this supposed maverick from the state of Alaska. Again how freaking clueless can you be?

No Republican in Alaska escapes the taint of Ted Stevens. She supported the “bridge to nowhere” until it became politically untenable, she is still quietly supporting that boondoggle by building up the access highway to that bridge. The federal money that was going to be spent for the bridge still got spent in Alaska for other forms of egregious pork. Palin is no maverick; she began her career in Alaska as a Ted Stevens acolyte. In a state as small and corrupt as Alaska you do not survive politically by messing with the boss. As she gets further vetted her connection to the corrupt Stevens machine will become clearer. The Alaska Republican Party is a cesspool: there is no way Sara Palin came out of that system smelling like a rose.

The real question is why did John McCain not realize this? He should know Ted Stevens inside and out. He and Ted have spent many years together in the Senate. Why has he not figured out what a pile of moose poop Ted is? McCain supposedly hates pork and earmarks he should know that Senator “series of tubes” is everything is claims to hate. Ted has freighted tons of pointless pork to the nation’s freezer. Ted’s ethics problems were brought up years ago by CREW and others. Ted managed to get indicted by the Bush Justice Department for heaven’s sake. A wiser man would have steered clear of any politician coming from the land of the Northern Lights.

That however is McCain’s main problem; he is spectacularly unwise and irrational. Just like W he goes with his gut. The man is temperamentally unfit for the highest office in the land. He refuses to do his homework; he is reckless and unstudied. This is a man who can not be trusted with life and death decisions. The U.S. Navy understood this. That is why McCain never got a combat command after his release from Hanoi.That is why he never made Admiral. The U.S. Navy did not trust McCain with its servicemembers lives why should we?
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