Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fair and Balanced...me!

As Dear Readers know, I was extremely upset about the Sara Palin pick. One can
respond snarkily, mocking the hair and the hunting habits,(as one did) or say it's
got to be a Tina Fey movie called "Moosestew Machinations" but then what?

This is a serious thing. Perhaps the most serious in our lifetime. So, I decided
to try and understand it from the other perspective, that of my Republican
Friends. Yes, I have them! Quite a few, thank you!
And I'd had fights with some of them re my great support for Obama. Not on
an ideological basis...there's no point in fighting about that...we believe
what we believe and we rarely change that. But on an EXPERIENCE arguement...they
had their points. And I had my answers to them. I then decided as the old maxim..better not to discuss politics or religion.

Now, turnabout was fair play. Experience question? 19 months as a Governor?
I'm sorry, PTA does not count! It doesnt. Not on the world stage. Surely they
will acknowledge that at least.

My friends are very smart...well most of them. I needed to have this VP thing explained
in a way that would frankly, keep me from being scared to death!

And so I asked them to give me their answers on these questions:
1.Is Sara Palin, in your honest view, ready to be Leader of the Free World?
2. Are you still voting McCain?
3. Who was your first VP pick?

And finally...anything else you want to add re picking a woman being important.

I got detailed interesting answers from the men explaining their views.
The women said pointedly just "I'm for her!"

First off, they are not scared that she is too inexperienced, or has a narrow
background. They pointed to prior Presidents and world leaders who
grew into the job. ( I still don't want that...again!)

They pointed out that most Governors do not have a lot of international
experience. (But some of them have and Alaska is such that
I think she is operating a budget on a small town size stage.)

They equated the "Obama had no experience" argument again . ( But now I counter
that he has been voted on by 18 million people and vetted over 18 months. Sara won
by 6oo plus votes and we have less than 3 months to know her and everything about her!)

Second, most of them would have chosen Mitt Romney, who I would have
been happy with...though I remain a dedicated Dem. ( I am not totally
partisan!) So I don't understand why they are not deeply disappointed. Or are
they just not saying. If Obama had picked a total unknown, I'd be pissed.

In other words...they all, except one person, did NOT find this choice scary or bizarre
or crazy. (Conclusion: I cannot discuss this with my friends anymore...she said
jokingly serious.) It is clear that people have VERY DIFFERENT opinions and
that I guess is why we have a country torn in half.

As to the issue of a woman...there were, in my view, other women who had
more experience like Kay Bailey Hutchinson, with whom I may not agree, but
I certainly find credible and experienced. But I would have not thought that a
business person like a Meg Whitman had the scope of knowledge either!

John McCain is 72. One third of American VP's have becoming Presidents
by virtue of death or other removals...impeachment. THINK ABOUT IT!
She has a 33% chance to become the President of the United States.

Finally, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GENDER IN POLITICS MATTERS. Sorry, feminists.
I just want the best person and when it was Margaret Thatcher, or Golda Meir,
cool. Sara is neither. I just saw the Republican Gov. of Hawaii on TV. Seemed
like a nice lady.What was wrong with her? Whoops...I said I'd put a hold on snarky.

Now, yesterday I saw the interview Gov. Palin did with Maria Bartiromo on the money channel.
She is smart, articulate in a very direct Francis McDormand, Fargo, kind of dialect and she
rapidly gives a good arguement about energy vis a vis drilling and swears she is also
very into protecting the environment. I have read both support and criticism of her
on this and don't know the truth. But I liked her! I think she would have made a
really good Secretary of Energy,gotten some time in the big time and thensomeday could have run for President.



To sum up:

1. This was not a crazy choice...it was a very smart, totally Machiavellian one.
McCain wants to win. He has been saying he chooses "county over politics." Not on this one.
John McCain realized that the experience issue was not working and that
"Change" was the word. 80% of Americans want that.So this reinforced that.
And he got rid of Bush/Cheney in one fell swoop. He threw the baby (convention) out
with the water ( Gustav.) The Maverick is back....for better or worse.

2. It remains scary because he did it so quickly, having met her ONCE. He said
he likes "to act faster than anyone else and will live with the consequences."
I don't feel good about living with them. What other quick shoot from the hip
choices will be made.

3. While I try and judge things objectively, my values and positions on choice,
guns, and other issues do get in the way and she represents the opposite of
everything I believe in. And it's been reported that she was not McCain's first choice
either!This makes me feel that the extreme right right on the Rep. side
is controlling the party. I don't want the extreme left left side of the Dems doing
that either.

I WANT THE CENTER. I think America wants the Center. I hope it does.

4.The fact that she is a woman cuts both ways...both bad for Dems. This will make it a
lot harder for Biden to debate her because the sexist attacks will be used against
any thing he does...if he's too soft, he's patronizing,if he's too tough, he's beating up on her.
So they successfully used the feminist inroads Hillary paved to their advantage,
to get her voters. I hope she comes out to debunk that and fast!

One of my smart Democrat friends reassured my panic by saying that so far Obama
has been thoughtful, careful, successful in every step of the campaign and we
should give him credit that he will find the right way to deal with this. That
makes me feel a little better. Only a little.

What I still don't really understand is how people can look at something and see

it so differently!? But the good news is that we can still be friends.

I hope!! But just in case, NO MORE POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS!









3 comments:

wimbleball said...

Very interesting views!

Anne D. said...

The aspect of this discussion that stands out to me, as I think it did to you, Susan, is the polarization of our nation. What ever happened to appreciating nuance and acknowledging that even the leaders or candidates we support can make mistakes? I'm hearing so much smug stuff from McCain supporters about how Palin is just as qualified as Obama, blah blah. Where's the beef in these discussions?

I appreciated hearing the thoughts of those on the other side of the presidential race. Thanks!

susan said...

this is a very scary time isn't it?