McCain’s VP choice smacks of pandering…
Looks like McCain’s advisors felt the need to show that not just Democrats can make history with their choice of candidates… Oh wait, the Democrats made this history first way back in 1984 when Walter Mondale took Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. Oh well. All it took for the Republicans to come around to the idea was 24 years and a feeling that they needed to do something to steal the historic thunder of Barack Obama’s nomination.
While picking Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is designed to show how forward thinking the GOP can be, the choice really seems an attempt to appeal to the imaginary block of disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters who would rather choose their candidate based upon her sex organs than because of any of the actual political issues of the day.
Rush Limbaugh has been crowing about the choice of Palin as a stroke of genius, saying that the GOP may have just “stolen the women’s vote from the Democrats” (because everybody knows all women care about is that the candidate have a vagina like they do). Rush went on to point out that Palin doesn’t wear pantsuits, instead opting for a skirt (the way a woman should). From there he felt the need to point out that Obama and Biden were in Beaver, Pennsylvania today. Yeah, the GOP really knows how to go after the women’s vote alright.
If you ask me this is a pretty blatant and sad attempt at playing catch-up with the pace that has been set by the Democrats. The Republicans have spent the election decrying how the Democrats are all about identity politics and have been “playing the race card” by choosing Obama. Now it looks like they hope to capture the same identity politics voter bloc by appealing to gender in the hopes it will sway Hillary supporters to the GOP side.
Palin is being billed as a “reformer” based upon her political activities in Alaska. But those hoping that means much of anything may want to take a look at the bigger picture. She has family ties to big oil and her choice as VP on the ticket is probably meant to signal the new energy policy of the McCain administration will very closely follow the old energy policy of the Bush administration with a fresh emphasis on drilling here in the states as some kind of “solution” to our energy woes.
Lucky for McCain that after eight years of Bush scandals most Republican voters are numb to ethics violations.
For a better idea of just how much of a “reform” ticket McCain/Palin will be, consider the fact that McCain has invited Dick Cheney to emerge from his underground bunker at some undisclosed location long enough to speak at the GOP Convention, no doubt spelling out for America just how important it is to leave a bunch of grizzled old NeoCon war-mongers in charge after eight years of bungled policy and ruinous mistakes. Sounds like the new GOP is going to look much like the old GOP… But this time with some last minute vagina added on for some cheap votes.
Palin is also pro-life with five children of her own (the right wing pundits have already declared that she scores political points for birthing a child with Down syndrome rather than having an abortion). Way to turn a human being with a genetic disability into a political wedge issue guys! Because everybody knows that Democrats want all babies not 100% genetically perfect aborted on the spot.
But hey, good for McCain. Even if political events forced him to make a pandering decision that is supposed to appear progressive, he still did it. Either way now, history will be made in this election. Whether such bald tactics will be enough to sway the voters to McCain come November remains to be seen.
postscript: I found this excellent blog entry that does a nice job of detailing the inside politics of Palin’s career in Alaska. I highly recommend this read.