Monday, September 1, 2008

So They Picked A Woman

Well, it is now old news that Senator John McCain chose Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. The secretive selection was leaked just before his planned news conference on Friday, August 29th. I said the same thing the rest of the country said, "what?" and "who?"

On Saturday, August 30th and Sunday, August 31st, this bit of news was masked with the news of Hurricane Gustav and the Republican National Convention being truncated so it wouldn't appear that they were having a "party" at the expense of New Orleans. In the midst of all of this, more and more news has come out about the unvetted candidate. It is both an insult and a joke that she could stand up to scrutiny, perhaps this is why she was slipped in under the radar.

Today, September 1st, I've read everything from her teenage daughter being pregnant with rumors that Palin's youngest son is actually her grandson. The questions fly about this far-right wing, Evangelical Christian, conservative Republican woman. Is it a case of "do as I say and not as I do" and that she wants these "family values" to be the values of the rest of America? For me, the answer is no.

Now, I was not a fan of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's negative campaign against Democratic Party Nominee Senator Barack Obama. Her historic run as a woman was shadowed by the ever-present stereotypes of race that really made me not like what she was up to in her excessively long campaign. Senator Clinton, like a lot of feminists, really didn't focus much on the needs or lives of women of color. Her position was one of privilege, white privilege to be specific, and didn't address the real needs of America beyond her "18 million cracks." Even in her negative campaign, Hillary Clinton restored my faith in her by proclaiming that the role call be ended and Senator Barack Obama be nominated through acclamation. She finally put her own desires aside for the greater good of the party and the country. She showed herself to be the seasoned professional, lawyer, and stateswoman that she is. Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.

The Republican Party thought they could slip in a suburban, white woman and that the rest of America would fall in line since she wasn't "black." It is actually an insult to the white feminists that Sarah Palin could be a heart-beat away from the red phone. There is a resonate belief that the women who read Working Mother magazine are smarter than the pandering and downright sexism displayed by John McCain's choice.

Mainstream Media has never been friendly, for the most part, to people of color and certainly did their job on Barack and Michelle Obama, yet even they have to admit that the Republicans messed up on this one. The Nielsen ratings will be off-the-charts for CNN, MSNBC, and all the other news stations that were starving for the next hot news after the historic Democratic National Convention. The cable news channels will milk the Palin and the disaster-to-the-date of Hurricane Gustav. It makes me wonder if our politics and the issues surrounding the economy, education, health care, and the war have been reduced to 30-second soundbites. Have we collectively lost our critical thinking skills?

In the end, the media will wear everyone out with all the Palin news and comparisons. The pundits will talk and talk and talk. My local coffee shop was abuzz about the news on Saturday morning and I can just imagine what the talk entailed when Hurricane Gustav happened.

The country is better than the barbie-job John McCain tried to pull out-of-his-hat. I have to believe that thinking people will realize we are in deep trouble as a nation and while it would be great to have a woman in the White House, they messed up with this one. It takes more than just the same parts to make her appealing to the rest of us.

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