Saturday, August 30, 2008


Taking time out once again to
  • not write about the Royals being insanely depressing
  • not write the long past due review of Tropic Thunder
  • spout off about politics
Sorry for those who would rather not hear (or read, rather) me prattle on about politics, but I do intend to keep this one on the short side.

Hot on the heels of what could at the very least be considered an extremely well received acceptance speech from Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, John McCain saw fit to name his vice presidential running mate. The person he chose was one that most were not thinking about, but by now, this is news to no one.

Up until 2006, his running mate had exactly six years of experience on the Wasilla City Council and served six years as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. I know people who spent a fair amount of their childhood in Wasilla. It's never been described as anything resembling a booming metropolis. After two terms as Mayor, the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee served for two years as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a post the nominee resigned from citing pervasive corruption from within and shortly thereafter blowing the whistle on fellow party members.

Perhaps the résumé was not the determining factor in selecting a running mate in McCain's mind, though. The determining factor certainly wasn't familiarity with the running mate, as they had reportedly only spoken once prior to the phone call asking for acceptance of the nomination.

Just to complete this exercise, here are some of the neophyte's stances, beliefs, and actions while in office (all taken from wikipedia, so I guess this could be typified as lazy research, but you'll get my point):
  • originally supported the building of "The Bridge to Nowhere" until national scrutiny grew so large that it was no longer tenable
  • is being investigated for impropriety in having fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan after Monegan refused to fire a trooper who was in the midst of a custody battle with the Governor's sister, which is the second recorded incident in which the nominee has been accused of firing a person for political/personal reasons
  • Monegan's replacement was a man who had previously been accused of sexual harrassing a subordinate
  • publicly supported Pat Buchanan's bid for the presidency in 1996
  • advocates drilling in ANWR
  • does not believe climate change is man-made, discounting the science as 'unreliable' and attributing the melting of the ice in the Arctic Circle to causes other than human activity
  • threatened lawsuit against Republican United States Secretary of the Interior, Dick Kempthorne, after the Department of the Interior designated polar bears an endangered species, all from fear that the designation would hinder oil and gas development on Alaska's northern and northwestern coasts
  • is pro-life
Obviously, the nominee has done other things. I'm keying on the questionable in a rather brief run as a public servant. After taking all of what has been said above, is this person qualified to be Vice President with all that the position entails? Should this person be a stroke of misfortune away from occupying the most important role in the world?

Of course, the Governor of Alaska is Sarah Palin, as we all know now. The motivation behind the nomination seems fairly clear.

I can't speak to the mindset of the woman who feels as though she has been slighted through the political process for her whole life.

I can say that if it were the group I most closely associate myself with being slighted politically I'd view the nomination of such an unqualified person for the reasons that seem to be no more than shameless pandering as a slap to the face.

Moreover, what does it say about the Republican Party when the best candidate they have to try to woo away some of the spurned Hillary supporters has the résumé of Sarah Palin?

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