I’m all for Republicans backing Sarah Palin. She’s their nominee for VP and McCain’s pick. Sure, there are some questionable things going on in her life, both personally and professionally, that bring up certain unavoidable questions, but we all must stand behind the party we believe to be the best suited to run this country.
However, what I find to be astoundingly hypocritical are the folks calling any criticisms of Palin “sexist” and unfair.
A coterie of Republican women sought to curtail what they said was inappropriate criticism of Sarah Palin’s record as governor, her past political affiliations, and her family life, lambasting the news media for what they said were sexist attacks on the vice-presidential nominee. –reported by Guardian.co.uk
Now that’s different in my mind from Obama asking the press to “back off” on public probes into Palin’s family life. Assume for a moment that it was Joe Biden’s daughter who was 17, unmarried and pregnant. Now you tell me what the response would be from the GOP and the religious right. Do you think it would be live and let live? Or what if it was Obama’s daughter? Would the GOP refrain from making comments and judgments? Of course not. They would be ravenous. Bloodthirsty. They would be screaming at the top of their lungs that if either of these men couldn’t control their own families, how could they then be trusted to run a country. And the religious right would be denouncing both of these men and their families as representing all that is wrong with “liberal” thinking and an example of failed morals. Add to the equation that Sarah Palin is vehemently anti-sex-ed and an active supporter of abstinence-only programs, and we have more than enough legitimate reasons to ask some questions that may be of concern to some of us. It’s not a judgement of Palin’s daughter, or even of Palin’s family, but of Palin’s ability to make choices and support programs that work. It’s a question of Palin’s ability to comprehend the realities of the world around her. Especially if she’s going to be making decisions that effect each and every American life.
And let’s not forget how quickly Republicans rushed to impeach Bill Clinton on his infidelity and then his perjury, while more recently denouncing Democrats for talking about doing the same to a President and Vice President who have ignored the constitution, broken dozens of laws–many resulting in the loss and endangerment of American lives–been accused of war crimes, have lied to Congress and are guilty of gross–and many would say criminal–neglect while New Orleans drowned. This is the height of hypocrisy. The only difference I see is that Democrats haven’t the balls (with the exception of Kucinich) to actually go through with impeachment proceedings.
The Guardian article continues by quoting Carly Fiorina, a former technology company executive and top advisor to the McCain campaign:
“I find all of this conversation about whether or not she is qualified, which I think initially emanated from the Obama campaign, quite stunning,” Fiorina said. “People are trying to portray her as a show horse, not a work horse.”
Am I really reading this correctly? Should we call the GOP’s questioning of Obama’s experience racist? And wasn’t it McCain who just weeks ago took out ads suggesting that Obama was nothing more than a big celebrity and compared him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears? Talk about portraying someone as a show horse, not a work horse! Experience or inexperience is something that needs to be questioned. Of ANY candidate. And Palin’s limited experience is certainly a real-world concern, as is Obama’s. But trying to get people to refrain from asking the questions by yelling “Sexist!” is nothing more than ugly politics and the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
It’s a shame to me that at the Olympic games, we expect the competitors to play fairly and honestly, while during the race for the Presidency of the United States Of America, all bets are off. Integrity, honesty, decency are all thrown aside. And I think both sides are guilty. However I will say that it seems to me that Republicans are a bit more bloodthirsty with a take-no-prisoners attitude and will cross lines many Democrats won’t (or simply don’t seem to be able to) cross.
As for the comments being asked about Sarah Palin’s experience… Back in 2004, in an interview with the Washington Times (July 15), Mitt Romney said this about Sen. John Edwards, John Kerry’s pick as running mate: The North Carolina freshman senator is too inexperienced to be vice president – let alone only an incident away from the presidency.
The Washington Times (July 8, 2004) reported this on President Bush’s stand on Edwards:
President Bush yesterday criticized Sen. John Edwards for blocking his judicial nominations and bluntly dismissed the one-term North Carolina Democrat as too inexperienced to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Asked by a reporter how the 51-year-old senator would “stack up” against Vice President Dick Cheney – a five-term congressman who served under three presidents and was secretary of defense during the 1991 Persian Gulf War – Mr. Bush replied: “Dick Cheney can be president. Next.”
That same year, the AP (July 7, 2004) wrote this about the RNC:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) dispensed with niceties and unveiled a lengthy report on Senator Edwards highlighting his lack of political and national security experience.
Contrast that with…
In today’s Boston Herald, Mitt Romney was quoted as saying about Sarah Palin:
“She’s a Washington outsider with a commitment to the conservative principles that will make our nation stronger. I look forward to campaigning for Senator McCain, Governor Palin and Republicans all across the country.”
President Bush had this to say about Palin:
“Gov. Palin is a proven reformer who is a wise steward of taxpayer dollars and champion for accountability in government. Gov. Palin’s success is due to her dedication to principle and her roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic and serves as a wonderful example of the spirit of America. By selecting a working mother with a track record of getting things done, Sen. McCain has once again demonstrated his commitment to reforming Washington.”
RNC Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan is quoted as saying:
“I applaud John McCain’s selection of Governor Sarah Palin, whose commitment to reform and record of bipartisanship is exactly what our country needs. I am confident that this team will continue to keep America safe and make our nation more prosperous.”
Now, anyone doing their homework would discover that Mr. Edwards had far more experience back in 2004 (six years in the United States Senate) than Mrs. Palin does now. And John Kerry, the presidential nominee, was young and healthy, not the oldest man who would ever be elected President and a three time cancer survivor like McCain. So, when Democrats and the media question Palin’s experience and her preparedness to be Vice President and, quite possibly President, is that really sexism? Does anyone believe that the same questions would not be asked of a white man (yes, I’m looking at you GOP)?
Now understand, in the culture we live in, issues of sexism and race are realities. We’re not fully grown, as a people or as a nation. The good news is, we’re at a place where there are many people in America who recognize sexism and bigotry as dangerous and offensive and aren’t afraid to speak out. But using these weaknesses in the American psyche as fighting tools is almost equally as offensive. And certainly just as dangerous.
Pile on top of all this, McCain’s announcement yesterday that he’s hired South Carolina political consultant Tucker Eskew. According to Pensito Review:
Eskew, along with Warren Tompkins and Neal Rhodes, were key members of then-Gov. George W. Bush’s South Carolina team during the 2000 primaries. McCain and his team long held Bush, Tompkins, Rhodes and Eskew responsible for the various smears against McCain and his family in the Palmetto state during that contentious contest.
Eskew will help Palin prepare for her Wednesday night acceptance speech at the GOP convention and for her stump speech as she hits the road, brief her on policy matters, and help her handle the media scrutiny a lifetime in Alaska does not necessarily prepare one for.
The tactics used against McCain by Bush and his allies in South Carolina left a deep scar on both McCain and his wife Cindy.
When then-Gov. Bush called upon Eskew, Tompkins and Rhodes to help him during the Florida recount, a senior McCain adviser told me that “when the going gets tough for Governor Bush, he turns to the darker side of our party. We saw that in South Carolina, and we see that today.”
And of course, just for fun, I’ll point out that McCain has voted with George W. Bush 90% of the time. He is, quite literally, intending to continue the policies of the Bush Administration if elected President. Even if it means turning to the “darker side” of his party.
Like everything I’ve mentioned above suggests, the GOP vehemently condemn and call “foul” on others for doing exactly the same things they do. And not just on smaller scales as when House Speaker-Elect Bob Livingston, a man at the forefront of the attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton due to issues surrounding marital infidelity, resigned from the House due to the “outing” of his own marital infidelities. Or House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s later confession that he was having an extramarital affair while he was leading the charge against Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. No, the hypocrisy reaches even larger, more global scales. Take United States Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad‘s comments at a recent news conference:
“We want to make sure our Russian colleagues understand, that the days of overthrowing leaders by military means in Europe — those days are gone.”
As political comedian John Stewart puts it:
“It’s amazing how adding the phrase ‘in Europe’ makes our actions [in Iraq] more palatable.”
Hypocrisy continues. And at the moment, it seems to be an American way of life. And along with sexism and bigotry, I hope we one day grow out of it and allow ourselves to become a nation that leads by example.
Maybe then we will truly be The Home of the Brave.