Greer McVay’s Web Log (BLOG)
Volume 1, Issue 2
January 27, 2009
No Current Events Blog would be complete without at least one post related to Sarah Palin, Governor of the great state of Alaska. And of course, I would be remiss in my duty to my readers if I did not chime in on the woman, the legend, the myth. It occurs to me that I’d better hurry and add my two cents to the debate about her preparedness or lack thereof, as John McCain’s 2008 vice-presidential running mate, or her own 2012 top-of-ticket candidacy. Once the last seconds have ticked away on her 15 minute clock, my opportunity to comment may be lost forever.
Writing about Sarah Palin is difficult at best. The difficulty in writing about her isn’t that she is complex. In fact, the opposite is more accurate. Writing about Mizz Palin is difficult for the same reason that Sunday brunch vexes a dieter: There is just too much bad stuff available. I am looking at a blank computer screen and my head is swirling with so many images, quotes, and rantings that I cannot possibly know where to begin. So alas, I’ll just start writing.
On August 29, 2008, a day that will live in infamy, John McCain introduced Sarah Palin to the Republican Party and the unsuspecting world. In one brilliant stroke of genius, he effectively ceased the thunder that (eventual-) President Obama had generated the night before in his electrifying DNC speech before an in-person audience of 85,000. Sarah Palin, Todd Palin, Trick, Track, Truck, Skipper, Bippity, Bobbity, and Boo, were all trekked out into the national spotlight in what would eventually play out as, arguably, the most disastrous vice presidential pick in the history of mankind.
At first blush Sarah Palin, appeared (to me at least) to be a threat to the Obama camp. She seemed accomplished, capable, articulate, polished, and ambitious; all qualities one might hope for in a vice president (and/or potential president). However, she turned out to be as loopy as a big ol’ bowl of fruit loops, but that side of her wouldn’t emerge for what--another six days? The woman eventually proved herself to be unprepared, overly-sensitive, irrational, delusional, and a liar with a racist bent. And those are her good qualities!
The original Sarah (OS) was charming in her own Wasilla way. She talked about her close knit family and small town values. She spoke of her record fighting “big oil” and taking on the incumbent governor from her own party. She was everything that Hillary Clinton wasn’t and for many that was a very good thing. For me, it spelled trouble. Barack Obama versus the anti-Hillary. Ultimately, that is what the election of 2008 boiled down to. No one could be sure how this thing would unfold. Fortunately, (now-) president Obama and Co. remained cool and made the executive decision to never address her or even acknowledge her after their initial congratulatory message to McCain. Unless, of course, you count Obama’s reference to “lipstick on a pig.” Another day, a different blog J
What began as sweet OS, rapidly devolved into Sarah the lipsticked pit bull. Then things really got interesting when she further devolved into Sarah the grandmother-to-be, Sarah the incompetent interviewee, Sarah the Russia-seer, Sarah the shopaholic, Sarah the McCarthyist, Sarah the whiner, Sarah the ethics violator, Sarah the race-baiter, Sarah the riot-inciter, Sarah the rogue, Sarah the whack job, Sarah the “Joe the Plumber” lover and Sarah the Wasilla Hillbilly who looted Neiman Marcus from coast to coast. With each incarnation this woman dragged women back another decade. By the time Election Day rolled around I am shocked that women were even allowed to vote.
Ultimately Sarah Palin’s problem was that she was NOT at the top of the ticket and as such she wasn’t allowed to call any of her own shots. More to the point, she actually believed that she was a serious choice for holding the office of VP, when in fact, she was never more than a means for John McCain to pander to The Base in order to win the election. His incessant insistence that once we got to know her-we would love Sarah Palin as much as he did-was taking this thing way too far. After all, how well did he know this maverick after just a couple of meetings that didn’t even add up to an hour? Mr. McCain, we got to know her and we still don’t like her. As a matter of fact, I have grown to like her less as a result of getting to know her.
Sarah Palin began her stint in the public spotlight by basically forewarning us that she was taking Barack Obama down. She (and the campaign) called the man everything from a pedophile to a communist. She ridiculed his experience as a “community organizer” and then demeaned him for his associations with “terrorists, who seek to harm their own country.” Let’s dissect that quickly. The worst thing the republican ticket could come up with, and make stick, was that Barack Obama had some loose affiliations through common interests with a person or two who had shady pasts and that his minister called America like he saw it. She, on the other hand was “knocked up” prior to marrying a man who wanted to remove his state from the union; she repeatedly billed the state fraudulently for her family’s personal travel expenses; and she used her power as governor to coerce state officials for her own personal gain, to name a few.
The sad irony of Sarah Palin’s and John McCain’s supposed disgust with Obama was that without fail they were guilty of every single thing of which they accused him. On charges that Obama was unpatriotic? You can’t get any more unpatriotic that wanting to secede from the union. That he had a quacky preacher? What’s with her guy doing witch hunts and “praying the gay away?” Socialist? She and her citizens have their hands out waiting to share in the profits of big oil. Family values? Well, pregnant herself out of wedlock, with an unwed pregnant teen daughter, a seven-year old daughter who wears stilettos and carries Louis Vuitton? Come on now, Sarah Palin! Or shall I refer to her now as AS, for Actual Sarah? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
The bad part is that the nation had to be diverted from the real issues as AS worked through hers. She complained of “gotcha media” because she was unprepared to tell us that she doesn’t read. She wasted our collective time trying to figure out what relevance her state’s proximity to Russia had to do with national security. She whined about unfair treatment as a woman because we had the audacity to wonder aloud how she would possibly [potentially] run the country with five children in tow, one of whom was only a few months old with special needs. For the record, we wanted to know the same thing about Barack Obama, whose small children we were assured could rely on their mother and grandmother for their daily care. That’s all we wanted from her. Just tell us your plan, AS.
The other bad thing about AS is that she simply wasn’t prepared. We have all tried to make some really lame experience sound like something more than it was and we all know a load of crap when we hear it. Whether we refer to the monster fish that got away or the job as receptionist that we list on our resume as corporate liaison for new business [guilty!], we can spot a phony from a mile away. And she was as phony as they come. Unfortunately, she believes her own hype and is likely to try to stay on the national scene beyond the reasonable limits of her qualifications; which pretty much ended on August 28, 2008. But this leads me to the good part. For us bloggers, writers, comedians and political pundits, she will give us so much more material in the coming years than we can ever handle.
Sarah Palin has made it clear through her post-election media interviews that she is digging her high heels in (pun intended) and creating a life for herself outside of the small confines of Wasilla, Alaska. Whether she is partaking in the beheading of a Tom Turkey or bashing Katie Couric or pontificating the “what-ifs” of joining Barack Obama on the democratic presidential ticket, Sarah Palin’s delusions of grandeur are sure to whet the appetite of even her staunchest critic: me.
Make no mistake, I do believe that John McCain would have lost the race whether he selected AS or his first choice, Joe Lieberman. It didn’t matter if he chose Tom Ridge or any other “maverick,” it clearly was Obama’s time as evidenced by the throngs of well-wishers who descended on Washington, DC, by the car-, airplane- or bus-load. Over two million people making the Inauguration pilgrimage speak volumes. However, by selecting anyone instead of Sarah Palin, John McCain would have paved the way for an honorable farewell to the country he claims to love so much. Instead, he allowed her rhetoric and presence in this forum to peg him as the man who helped put the nail in the proverbial coffin of the Republican Party. He and he alone, showed the world that he would and did choose to win an election at all costs. Thankfully, he lost and we did not.
When 2010 rolls around and republicans start jockeying to replace president Obama I imagine we’ll see much more of AS than my stomach can take. I keep reading that she has a loyal fan base. Clearly this base is comprised of people who cannot read or interpret facts accurately. I vacillate between wanting them to come to their senses and appreciate her for what she is, a small town mayor; and hoping they remain steadfast in their admiration for her because her inability to formulate a coherent thought would certainly be her opponents’ best weapon. People from the “real parts of America” can have her. Fortunately, most of us are apparently from the part of America where actual merit and vision reign supreme.