Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughts & Impressions: Sarah Palin as VP?

A friend sent me this link to an Alaskan Blog:

It's come to this.
Again, the R's are now treating this election as they might treat a video game, designed to appeal to indolent kids attracted to random violence!
That probably ought not be a surprise to those who have watched our latest fearless leader bumble his way through the last 7-plus years.

Someone characterized this VP pick as a 'hail mary' pass, and that might be pretty close to the truth. But, it will attract attention away from the more serious discussion of issues that many people have trouble getting their heads around. We know how emotion regularly seems to trump rational argument. I think it's too bad when elections get dumbed down like that, to where they don't really mean anything except who wins. But, maybe that's just me.

Ms Palin deserves our respect, which may be more than her own party is affording her. She is to be the sacrificial lamb, recruited to enliven the moribund McCain campaign, attract donors & attention, and light the fuses of those dividing debates that have been the mainstay of R campaigns for decades. One other thing this gamble is likely to cause is multiple opportunities for D mistakes, gaffes and distractions. Watch out!

That McCain has bought into this scheme brings his desperation into plain sight and his judgement into question. At some level he must know he is likely to lose this election without such a gamble, and only the twisted mind of Karl Rove could have conceived such a plan and convinced McCain to swallow it. And, McCain had only met her once before he made his selection! Remind you of anyone? Like maybe when Bush 2 met Putin, looked into his eyes and understood his soul? Give me a break!
How would you feel if you were Pawlenty or Romney, both respected VP candidates with much greater real credentials who were passed over?

But strange things do happen in elections, and this one won't be over until its over - as Yogi Berra may have said. The D's must not be complacent, nor must they be overly drawn into phony fights that only run out the clock on debating the great issues that face this country. Like a desperate animal, the R's will hold onto their power by any and all means possible, meaning things are likely to get much uglier and less certain from here on.

I have to wonder if there aren't some subtle, secondary motives at work in this scheme, especially if the D's do win the election as expected. Both McCain & Palin are considered 'mavericks' within their own party, notwithstanding they do consistently follow a conservative path. That has to have produced powerful enemies who are more than willing to exact cruel political revenge on these two should they fail in their difficult mission of being elected.

Even with a voting record that is 95% in agreement with Bush2, McCain isn't well liked by some strong, far-right factions. Likewise, Palin, in her relatively short and provincial political life, has angered the entrenched powers that be -or were- in Alaska.

On the issue of opening ANWR to drilling, the two candidates appear to have differed, with Palin a strong supporter and McCain luke-warmly against.
Is Palin supposed to help convince McCain to support ANWR?
Is Palin seen as more of a pain to powerful R's in Alaska than a help?
If that were true, becoming a VP candidate, likely to lose, could turn into a skillful way of removing her from being Governor of Alaska.
Or, is she seen as a future candidate or effective spokesperson on the national stage?
With Ted Stevens, among others, under investigation and likely to be replaced soon, is Palin a possible heir apparent, who also happens to need some schooling in the art of procuring 'pork'? After all, that is something she has strongly opposed in Alaska.
It's too bad that someone with the energy and ethics of Palin has allowed herself to be used in this way, especially since she has expressed little interest in such a job as VP, which she calls undefined and unproductive. But, contestants in beauty pageants are often known to be a little vain, open to flattery and enamored of exposure to an admiring public.

Time will tell how this unscripted melee will actually play out, but D's ought to keep calm and play it hard and straight. If that's not good enough, then there are things more wrong with this country than its elections and orchestrated campaign marketeering.
One always has the choice of carelessly tripping over such monkey wrenches or carefully using them for their intended purpose - including the repair of leaky plumbing. I hope its the latter.