Friday, October 3, 2008

Sarah Palin, Marionette

Webster's New World Dictionary defines a marionette as "a puppet or little jointed doll moved by strings or wires from above..." This is exctly what we saw tonight with Sarah Palin in the "debate" with Joe Biden. As a marionette, she performed well. I think Sarah Palin did exactly what she was hired to do: answer some questions, cloud over the facts and truths of the present Republican administration, and obscure the record of her running mate, John McCain. She did not make obvious gaffes and stumbles as was expected. This was good.

But the truth of the matter remains: Sarah Palin is not qualified to bea heartbeat away from the presidency.” Governor Palin’s handlers prepped her well and she came out kind of sporty, and some may even say cocky, but in the end it was clear that she is not “the person for the job.”

The other day I heard John McCain talking about “got cha” journalism. Well, tonight Sarah Palin’s talking points were a lot of “got cha” moments. I think that she thought she was good, but what she showed me is plain and simple: she is not qualified.

Let’s put aside all partisan politics and come directly to the issue at hand: Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president in the occasion of John McCain being incapacitated or his unexpected death in office.

Sarah Palin is trying to find herself; she is not sure of whom she is. I think self-discovery is a great thing, but not at the expense of the American taxpayer and especially not at this critical time in our history.

It’s easy to look at her answers, compare these answers to answers that she gave to questions asked earlier by nationally known news commentators, and conclude that this woman is a black board that many people are writing on. She is not answering these questions; the handlers are.

There are plenty of Republican women who are qualified and who would do both their party and the nation good in the contest and in the White House: Jodi Rell of Connecticut and Kaye Bailey Hutchinson of Texas are among them.

There is something awfully sexist and patronizing about choosing a most unqualified woman for this job when there is a vast number of qualified women in business and politics in America from which to choose.

She did do well in the debate tonight. By this I mean there were no obvious gaffes or snafus. But it is possible to teach a dog to sing. I am not saying that Sarah Palin is a dog. I am saying that Sarah Palin is unqualified to be Vice President of the United States, and that her answers tonight before “omteen million voters” were answers designed to appeal to a certain demographic group, i.e. “Middle America,” or the American Middle Class.

This is the demographic group that we will have to thank and curse if John McCain and Sarah Palin win the election. It is frightening to conclude that a whole demographic group of people can be persuaded to vote against their own self-interest based on fear and ignorance. Sarah Palin’s task was not to answer questions about domestic or foreign policy, but to appear to be “like us,” the vast middle class.

At some point America will have to see that what we need in government is someone who is not like us, someone with a worldview broader and wider than our own. Xenophobia and myopic points of view only serve the small minds that conceive them. They never serve the greater good. The middle class must be taught to be unafraid of change, and unafraid of others.

I was particularly put off by her scapgoating of the leaders of the nations of Iran and Cuba. America must walk away from this xenophobic arrogance. What will change in the world if the American President talks with the President of Iran? How Will the ecosystem be altered if the President of the United States has a conversation with the leader of Cuba? Will time stand still? Will the sun stop shining, or grass refuse to grow, or will cattle world wide suddenly miscarry? Stop being stupid! This kind of thinking sounds like people who believe that girls get preganant from kissing.
Just this group of high school, sophomoric answers to important questions was enogh to make me want to gag. I don't think she understands that there is George Bush's "Mission Accomplished" world, where America sets the universal agenda, and people run, hop, and skip at the call of the United States, and then there is the real world, where other nation-states are as kean about seeking their own interests as we are about seeking ours.

And yet I don't believe that Sarah’s answers reflected what she actually believes. I say this primarily because I don't think that Sarah knows yet what she believes. Other than the right to life issue, it will probably take Sarah another five to seven years to develop a real theory of government and a genuine philosophy of public policy.

In the mean-time Sarah was supposed to obey her handlers, take care of her children, and draw her check from the State of Alaska. This would have made for a very comfortable life. Instead, John McCain, a very ambitious man, stepped in looking for an ambitious woman. I do not fault Sarah Palin for seeking office in Wassila, or in the Alaska State House, or even the Governor’s Mansion in Alaska. But she knew she was not qualified to be Vice-President and should have turned the offer down.

Let me make this simple and clear: When inept, unqualified people come to power “Nine-Eleven” happens, the Iraqi War happens, the disaster of Katrina happens, and the Wall Street melt down happens. When unintelligent, inept, unqualified people are given power destruction follows. Vast numbers of people suffer from their ineptness, and answering a few questions from talking points put together by savvy handlers will not mask that ignorance.

For the last eight years (under George Bush) we have not had policies, foreign or domstic, instead we have had stumblings. In short, the American policy has become whatever resulted from the bumblings of the "Idiot-in-Chief," and those around him. Can we afford this for another four years? I think not!

It appears that with Sarah Palin the puppet handler is moving the strings of a puppet. This has been the case with George Bush and Dick Chaney. It will be the case with John McCain and Sarah Palin, if they are elected, or in some other way come to power.

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