Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin revisited

I listened to excerpts from Sarah Palin's interview with ABC while driving around on Thursday, and interrupted bridge to watch her on Friday. I didn't see much that would make me feel better about having her as president. Did you?

Some bloggers have called the Bush Doctrine question unfair, and I agree with that. But did you notice what she said once the question was clarified? She said we have a right to defend our country if an attack is imminent. Now, I don't know anyone other than a truly dedicated pacifist who would disagree with that, but that's not the issue. Bush took the idea of preemptive war far beyond any historical precedent into the realm of "preventive" war, in which we reserve the right to attack countries who might someday pose at least a hypothetical threat. This is dangerous territory, an argument that could be used to justify almost any war a country might wish to start. We deserve to know what people that close to the presidency think about the idea.

I also was struck by her answer on abortion, which sounded amazingly close to what Barack Obama said in his acceptance speech. She did say that decisions about abortion should be returned to the states -- which is not a total repudiation of the pro-choice argument -- and she said that her opposition to abortion in case of rape and incest is a "personal opinion." It wasn't clear whether she meant that it was a personal opinion that should not be imposed on John McCain or a personal opinion that should not be imposed on other Americans.

Mostly, the interviews did not address my major concerns about her. I still have concerns about her management style, and I still have concerns about her honesty. Her reply to the Bridge to Nowhere question was perfectly unresponsive.

I don't know about you, but if I'm looking to hire somebody, and the very first item on the resume turns out to be wildly exaggerated, I don't really have any further questions. I'm done. In comments to an earlier post, someone defended her by linking to a Washington Post story that called her Bridge to Nowhere story a "half-truth." That seems a pretty generous estimate, even judging from the Post's own reporting, but never mind. I just wish my mother was still around to here the "half-truth" argument dredged up. When I was growing up, we had a word for "half-truth." The word was "lie."

UPDATE: I also keep reading articles praising Palin for refusing to abort her Down syndrome child. Once again, I don't get this. If I understand her world view correctly, she regards abortion as a sin equal to murder, or close to it.

Heck, sometimes I go for months without murdering people, even though I am far more provoked to do so than Palin's baby has ever provoked her. Nobody ever gives me credit as a paragon of virtue for refusing to kill people who trouble me. Why does she get so much credit?


Chuck Rightmire said...

If you're going to sell the big lie, you always put in some facts. It works better and has a chance of convincing those who don't know all the facts. Goebbels had a knack for it that helped sell the Holocaust. It's also true that if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it. It's also true, according to all the sources I've seen, that Agnew Palin did not abandon the Bridge to Nowhere until it had died in the Congress. Even so, I always thought the earmark issue was about money, so in her case, she backhands the bridge but keeps and distributes the money to other Alaska infrastructure. What's that say?

BryanB said...

Sarah Palin shores up McCain’s credentials with the religious right, bringing us more of the same Bush religion. This religion of fear has becomes increasingly clear: We turn to God out of love or out of fear, our hearts filled with thanks to Providence for the goodness of creation, or terrified by the chaos where hell has broken loose here below. Jerry Falwell’s rapture-coated end of the world nightmare sanctified an escape for Americans terrified by an America they no longer loved, but desired to see utterly destroyed.

In the meantime, this same fear and loathing of the present world drove fundamentalist revival elsewhere—the Muslim world. The dreams of these likewise perverted Muslim hearts taught individual rapture on tap for all who would true suicide bombers be. In other words, the loveless religion of fear over here has now come face to face with the loveless religion of fear over there. In 9/1l, America got her first taste of the religion of fear itself.

This narrative reminds us that things have moved along. Those who turn to God out of present terror now bestride an increasingly terrorized world. Demonize and destroy.

That’s the personal attack policy of Osama bin Laden and of the McCain campaign. That’s also evident in Sarah Palin’s treatment of her state trooper brother-in-law. The Republic Party has found these tactics successful in the past two elections and hopes to be successful with them once again in the current election. That’s the victory of dark power over God.
That’s the result, in the midst of tribulations, of our religious failure to effectively denounce the Satanism of our times.

Religion and our institutions are too important to be turned over to Christian Fundamentalists or Islamic Fundamentalists.
Notice the distinction here: Effective denunciation has nothing to do with persons. But institutions of terror, that bombed the Twin Towers to the ground, that make the rubble bounce today in Baghdad and that sing little ditties like ‘Bomb. Bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran’ are the living Satan incarnate. Here is the work of fear itself, that we were warned against by F. D. R. in the run up to WW II, with his admonition ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’

Mark T said...

My impression is that we have a very average person here with some political skills. She's got no great intellectual gifts, no sense of the big picture, no grasp of policy - she's just like most people, not terribly different than Bush except she didn't have Daddy to fund her Ivy League education.

The presidency is not a place for average people. I know that the people around them can cover for them, as they did for Reagan and W, but I still want someone with outstanding credentials in that office, just for the sake of pride. Thatcher said of Reagan "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears." The world should not be laughing at us.

I read notes from a press conference once where JFK quoted Greek literature in answering a question about how rewarding the job was. Oh for the day when we had a president who even knew where Greece was.

Lorri said...

This race is between the status quo, borrowing the idea of change and progress, and those who originated the idea. Mc/Palin have purloined the idea, without any factual foundation. Although McCain once stood as an independant Republican, he has abandoned that mantle in favor of political convenience. Too bad; ten years ago, a Republican centrist would have been a good candidate. However, he has ceded his own principles for political convenience.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden offer an opportunity to have two intelligent executives. Throwing it away is within the hands of the people, and is, unfortunately, a distinct opportunity, based on nothing more that parochial attitudes and supplications.
What qualificaions do Mc/P bring to the scene that O/B don't?

Eric said...

David is it just me, or are you desperately looking for a reason to vote for Barack Hussein Obama?