Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sarah Palin? Are you kidding me?

Bringing this blog back on at least a trial basis. If I keep using it, I might make it a more public affair, but right now, no one really needs to know, especially since this is just a repost of something I posted on a message board.

Palin Disclosures Raise Questions on Vetting

"Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background. A Republican with ties to the campaign said 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. The campaign was still calling Republican operatives as late as Sunday night asking them to go to Alaska to deal with the unexpected candidacy of Ms. Palin."

Looking like the vetting process really was a lick-and-a-promise sort of thing, but I gotta say: most of what they're turning up now don't seem like things that matter. I'd quote from the article, but it'll be long if I do, so here's a bullet-point list of what they've got listed:

--Bristol's pregnant, obv.
--Palin's husband got a DUI 22 years ago
--Palin has hired a lawyer for her ethics investigation
--Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence party for 2 years in the mid-90s

Now, that last one seems pretty wack to me, but I don't really understand how the rest of this stuff matters all that much. Her husband's DUI was a long-ass time ago. If he's around her age, that means this was in his early 20s. A lot of people do stupid shit like drive drunk and get busted when they're 23 or so years old. Should it really matter when they're twice as old and haven't done it since? Also, why is Bristol's pregnancy anyone's business, really? The Obama campaign said it was a family matter, and I agree. Plenty of 17 year old daughters have gotten pregnant over the years, and you gotta figure that most of their parents were dismayed when it happened. I don't think it necessarily reflects on the parents; more on the state of teenagers in general. They're horny, they're not particularly aware of consequences, they make rookie mistakes. Big deal. And finally, getting a lawyer for an ethics investigation? Isn't that something that people are advised to do as a matter of course, whether they are guilty or innocent? Why is this a big deal?

What I think all this bullshit does is detract from the more important issue here, which is that Sarah Palin's politics are right-wing enough to border on extremist, and they also appear to be poorly thought out from some of the explanations she's given for them. I don't really care about bogus issues of character that don't really pertain to whether or not she's a good VP candidate--I feel like the media should be focusing on what she actually believes, and perhaps even more importantly (and definitely just as important) her lack of any real experience in politics beyond being the mayor of a 10,000-population town in rural Alaska. This might have been a really good idea in the short term for the McCain campaign--bring in some fresh face no one has ever heard of, shake everything up, dominate a few news cycles--but in the long run, it's not a serious VP pick AT ALL, and everyone will figure this out! They really blew it here. Going for a predictable, boring, and rather neutral pick like Mitt Romney might not have dominated the news this way, but in the long run it would have been way smarter. And what I don't get is why THAT, and not all this silly lifestyle bullshit that doesn't amount to much, is not the dominant point of the coverage.

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