God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Palin

Caution! With this post, I enter territory that I've successful avoided for three years. Not that there have not been temptations--there most certainly have been--but, I have always erred on the side of resisting controversy--well, usually, anyway.

But life has its howevers and, for me, this is such a time.

I am angry over the presence of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket, dismayed by McCain's hypocrisy, his pandering and his disrespect to women. The selection of Palin as his running mate inescapably demonstrates a politically motivated "what can I do for me" decision, belying his assertion that his decisions would be made by "what is good for the country" if he were to be elected.

His selection of Sarah tells me that he truly has little regard for women. His running mate is grossly unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the most important leadership role in the world. Having given thought to why he chose her, I find only two reasons that he would do so:

Reason 1. A misguided thought that having any woman on the ticket will reel in women voters. The clear implication being that proven competence, experience and intelligence is not a factor in our decision making--that any woman will do. This is an incredible insult to the female intelligence.

Reason 2. The need to capture the vote and play to the good will of the far right is more important than giving the people of this country a qualified replacement if something should happen to him--not an unreasonable fear for a 72 year old with a history of cancer.

Regardless of who she is as a person, how remarkable her family is, her ability to "zing" the opposition or her experience as a mayor and a new governor, there is nothing which suggests she has the knowledge, talent, skill or background to face Putin, Hu Jintao, Mahmoud Ahmadnejad, even Ehud Olmert or other world leaders. What is her knowledge of the Taliban? Radical Islamists? North Korea? Europe? South America? If the United States is facing the loss of its leadership position in the world--which is commonly thought to be a fact--, we need leaders who will reestablish that role.

In terms of domestic issues, I have read or heard nothing that indicates she has even a rudimentary understanding of the vast complexities of economy issues, health care concerns and needs, the plight of the elder population, the workings of the Pentagon or government departments and agencies, etc. etc. etc.

So..I am angry that McCain has chosen to put this country in jeopardy by his decision to elevate a desire to win above his commitment to the United States. There were other choices to make; he chose not to make them. Country First is having a hollow ring.


girasoli said...

Brava! There is no other explanation.

Barbara said...

Brava Jane! Youe put into words everything we think is wrong about Palin's selection. I'm going to link to this post from my blog becuase I can't say it any better.

Tourmama said...

Thanks, Jane! You have articulated so well many of my concerns about this woman -- and my sense that McCain is revealing once again a lack of judgement!


Jane said...

Thanks, Girasoli, Judy and Barbara. There is so much more to say, too. I am pretty sure that there will be opposition comments--which is va bene!

Barb, please do!

Judith in Umbria said...

In a world of right wing insults, this one wins the prize. There is so much wrong with this woman I can't begin. I tend to find that she hasn't done a single thing right, including taking the stage with her family willy nilly in the middle of a family crisis that includes a forced marriage of a child. Honestly, this sounds like stories I read on the BBC about India.

Mary Thomas said...

Hello Jane,
I have been appalled, horrified and almost sick since McCain made this decision. I agree with what you said and add that it is indeed a SAD day when a candiate like Palin generates enthusiasm, a following, excitement on the political scene. Has America lost its soul? I don't believe Europe will give America another chance to prove we are not the "bully on the block".

Anonymous said...


You said it so much better than I could - thank you!

Chiocciola said...

Brava, Jane! So true. Thanks for putting it so well.

Anonymous said...

Scary, huh?

Anonymous said...

She was a governor for goodness sakes and has more executive experience than Obama. I would feel far more comfortable having her in the oval office than him. She's a breath of fresh air and I couldn't be more pleased to have her on the ticket. You may not share her conservative views, but there are many many women who do and she speaks for us. Zogby has McCain up by 4 pts this morning.... so I guess I'm not the only one excited by the prospect of having her as the first woman VP.

Jane said...

Anonymous, I don't think I mentioned my political perspective. I was speaking of McCain's motivations. But---now that you bring it up. Alaska has a population of 680,000, Houston has a population of over 3 million which would make Mayor White more qualified than Sarah. Clearly, such facts do not alone translate into qualification.

If you believe in your views, then anonymity should not be a cover. Speak proudly!

Anonymous said...

Jane, I love your blog and my comments are just my opinion. I just felt compelled to give my 2 cents from 'the other side' :) My name is Kathy and I'm proudly a moderate conservative, almost a libertarian. I just don't want government any more in my life than it has to be. I just watched the HBO series "John Adams" and I'd highly recommend it. Our founding fathers had such courage and their intent was to protect us, but also to stay out of our lives. That's what the American dream was all about. You worked hard and made your own opportunities. They didn't see the government as a provider of all these services. Anyway, I think McCain chose Palin because she shared his conservative viewpoint and she also brought his maverick attitude and fearless independence to the ticket. I can't say that she'll be a great vice president yet, but I'm still more comfortable with her than the democratic ticket which seems hell bent on taking us toward government care from cradle to grave. As I said before, just my opinion and I respect yours too.

Jane said...

I continue to have difficulty in understanding how people have determined that Sarah is worthy of a vote. At this point I have not heard one utterance from her on matters of substance facing the US or world today. What does she think of the economy disaster and what ideas does she have to address it? What about the inequality of access to medical care and how would she address that? Iraq? Iran? Elder needs? At this point, she has not given any sign of the intellectual capacity to deal with this issues. Understand that I am not saying she isn't intelligent but that she has not shown us. How she handles family crises is not relevant to the US or the world. I am concerned that she feels that an innocent 13 year old raped by a relative should carry and deliver that child; thus having her own childhood stolen and chance at life taken from her. I am concerned by the growing indications that many of the claims she has made in her speeches have not proven to be accurate but instead misleading and contrived. Her speech writers seem to be disrespectful of the intelligence of our population and be mistaken in their assumption of gullibility. I am worried!

Annie said...

Excellent post. I agree with you completely. Too much focus on winning and too little regard for what is best for Americans.

Thanks to Girasoli for linking to this great blog entry.

Diana said...

You go, girlfriend. I just linked back to you from my last blog post. You and Michelle Fabio gave me courage!!!

Jane said...

Diana and Girasoli, thanks--do you think we can make a difference?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I think the public outcry over Palin doing no press, made them agree to have her speak to Charles Gibson this week.

I came over from Diana's blog. Both of you have written so well about this issue.

This election is too important for McCain to make such a reckless choice.

Jane said...

Ragazza--are you really 252? Thanks for commenting--now I have a new blog to peruse.

Sandrac said...

Jane, well said! I agree completely.

That said, I'm glad to hear from Kathy (who first posted as anonymous) Debate is so very healthy.

But I have to disagree completely with Kathy on the point of experience. I think that Obama's 8 years in the Illinois senate; his almost 4 years as a U.S. Senator; his work there on 3 foreign policy committees; his experience as the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review are all extremely important. And outweigh Sarah's meagre experience. (I got my numbers from AP)

Just my two cents!

Jane said...

Sandra, I agree about the need for dialogue and am surprised by the lack of it. Your comments are so on target but we also need to give bold credence to his work as a "community organizer" which clearly displayed his compassion and concerns(help over the $), the insights it gave him into the plight and reality of poverty,the statement as to who he is as a person. Somehow that seems much more meaningful and significant than does supervising the budget of a very small Alaska village.

Chiocciola said...

Kathy, thanks for entering the dialog , multiple viewpoints are always healthy! However, I believe that saying "hell bent on taking us toward government care from cradle to grave" is just so wrong. It is part of the rhetoric that the GOP uses to scare people away from the Democratic Party. The Republicans, over the last 8 years, have taken the US from a prosperous economy where jobs were created and there was a large surplus, to a recession and an enormous deficit. There has been more government spending over the last 8 years than in a very long time. The Democratic ticket is providing a sensible way out of this problem, while McCain and Palin want to cut taxes, making the problems even worse. (Trickle down economics will do nothing to get the country out of this crisis.)

Also, I suggest you do some more reading on Palin's lack of experience. Her complete lack of understanding of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac situation is a good example.

I am absolutely amazed at how the Republicans manage to get people to believe what they say. How can McCain call himself an agent of change when he has been in Washington forever? How can Giuliani, who has lived his entire life in New York city, uphold small town values and lash out against the East Coast elites? He IS the east coast elite! How can Romney say "let's get the liberals out of Washington and bring the conservatives in!" when the conservatives have ruled for eight years?

If you really are a libertarian, I encourage you to take a look at the libertarian ideals (classic liberalism would be the actual term for it) and see that the GOP is as far away from those ideals as they have ever been. McCain, whom I used to admire, has sold out to the religious right of the party and is this election's flip flopper. But the traditional media isn't calling him on it, and the Democrats are being too nice!

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Well it's obvious that a majority of conservatives really care more about being in power than anything else...otherwise how could they possibly explain jumping on Palin's bandwagon so fast before she's even spoken on her own (still hasn't happened and yet McCain's numbers rise). This is how much they love the country. "Political bullsh*t" to quote Peggy Noonan. Pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,

I have really struggled with responding to your current blog…should I or shouldn’t I? I have written a response two times before, only to delete it both times. I hesitate to offer my opinions on line as it is hard to communicate one’s feelings and tone of voice when you can’t actually hear me… and I am concerned that my comments may be taken as harsh, when in reality, I don’t feel that way.

I, too, try to shy away from controversy, but I feel in reading your blog (which I love) that I have somewhat come to know you and I feel you honestly want to know why some of us approve of Sarah Palin. For that reason, I am responding.

Up until McCain chose Sarah as his running mate, I truly felt as though I was not represented at all by any of the candidates nominated by either party for President or Vice President. As a conservative Christian woman, in no way did I feel disrespected or insulted by McCain’s choice. Quite the opposite. In choosing Sarah I felt that he finally acknowledged that we deserved representation as well as the less conservative among the party.

I will have to say that I don’t believe we have been given enough time to have a full picture of Sarah’s positions on many of the issues here at home or abroad. I think that will take time and I look forward to knowing more about her before I cast my vote in November. As to her lack of experience, wasn’t the same comment recently made within the Democratic party about one of their own who successfully ran for office?

What I do admire about her is that she seems to live what she says she believes. It does not appear that she changes who she is because others disagree with her convictions. She is pro-life. Knowing full well that their son would be born with Down Syndrome, she chose life for him and obviously adores this sweet little fella and considers him a blessing from God. Her daughter became pregnant before marrying, but the family has chosen to support her and will also welcome this new blessing who is coming and, once again, did not choose abortion. Their son will be serving our country in the military. This speaks volumes to me of their personal support and commitment to the US. What I have heard of her service to the people of Alaska, I admire.

In reference to the mentioned example of a 13 year old that was raped by a relative and would have to carry and deliver the baby, wouldn’t you agree that the rape is what stole her childhood, not the innocent baby? Her childhood would not be restored by an abortion. Consider also that from 1973 to 2003 over 48 million babies were aborted. It is reported that only 1% of those babies were conceived due to rape.

Will Sarah Palin make a good Vice President? This remains to be seen, but in the next several weeks I will pay close attention to what all of the candidates have to say and when November comes around, I will vote my conscience.


Terry (teaberry) said...

Amen, Jane. Amen. I wholeheartedly concur.

Jane said...

Thank you for your comment and expression of your feelings. I appreciate your willingness to speak out on a forum where you and Kathy are lone voices. I, too, as you know, am a born-again believer; however, I can not support a person on that basis alone when there is no indication at this point that she has the background, knowledge, experience to lead the greatest nation on earth (at this time). There is a vast difference between her inexperience and Obama's. He has been on the national scene, participating in issues that relate to governing the US and impacting the world. Being part of the Washington scene seems to be a negative which is bizarre as that is the place we have created to address national and world issues. I have been working on a post which succinctly lists why I do not have high regard for Sarah which I hope will explain my position even further. I am, also, appalled by the snide and disrespectful way she makes her points and speaks of people. I sense a streak of cruelty in her that seems ungodly.

As far as the 13 year old girl, I agree that incestuous rape would be the cause but forcing the child to carry the baby compounds the emotional and physical damage monumentally--by people who supposedly love her and by strangers who do not know her.

Tee, you're a long distance friend and I value that and hope continue voicing your thoughts, please. We just have a very different way of viewing what is happening.

anne said...

As a Canadian bystander, all I can say is: you go, girl!!! I have been quite horrified by what I've read and seen of Palin.

Anonymous said...

Aiiiiiy, carumba!
Can a cautious Canuck comment?
Can I take up a few minutes of your time to hear me out?

I've been in the political ring for 12 years. That is only municipal politics, but still...
Here's what I know for sure...being mayor of a town or city in NO WAY qualifies a person to be the Vice President of any country. Trust me on this, in no way. This is like jumping from Grade 3 into 4th year med school.

After 12 years of serving the taxpayers of my community, I was asked to allow my name to stand for MLA in my riding for our provincial government, a similar position to a senator in the U.S., I think. I refused, based on the irrefutable knowledge that I was ill-equipped to take that position.

I'm a fairly bright, intelligent and thoughtful woman, as some of you know. So, it's not that I feared my own intelligence was lacking!
Not at all.
What I knew in my heart that I was lacking was governmental experience at that level of government. I knew I could not serve the electorate with anything close to an experienced mind.

So, with that as my background, I feel like I have some experience which allows me to have an opinion of some value...I seriously question the selection of this person as the Vice Presidential running mate, and not because of her family, her belief system, her faith or her hairstyle.

I question it for these 2 reasons:
~ Her obvious lack of federal government experience. That can only be acquired by serving as a congresswoman or a senator.

Imagine a newly-minted governor like Arnold Schwarzenegger taking the Vice Presidency. He's just not there, yet. Cool as Arnold is, he's just not there.

The intelligent progression would be from mayor to governor to senator and/or congresswoman. Then, and only then, would it make sense to take a crack at the Vice President position.

~ Here's the other thing...when seeking a person to work on a management team, the most valuable person to choose to complement your strengths and add strength to your weaknesses would be someone different from you, not someone who has the same beliefs and the same characteristics.

When people choose someone like themselves to support them in a political or management position, nothing changes.

When they choose someone who complements their character, strengthens their weaknesses and provide cover-your-ass strategies in the areas that they are weakest, then they have formed a great team. A complete team, rather than a one-sided and unbalanced combination, which occurs when 2 people who are the same are put into a management or political position.

Just like in a great marriage, I think. Each person in the marriage gives strength to the areas where their partner is lacking, thus making a stronger and more stable partnership.

Anyway, I'm getting off my soap box, before someone pushes me off...that's how I see it from this side of the border.

And, before anyone thinks that I'm anti-Sarah, let me reassure you, I'm not. What I am is anti-inexperience, particularly as a resident of a country that is a neighbour of the country that she might be Vice President of, and possibly President of...it does not leave me with a very safe feeling, knowing that someone with such an immense lack of experience in top-level government workings just might be in charge of dealing with the leaders of some of those countries that scare the hell out of me, in charge of dealing with them if push comes to shove and the President's not available to take the steering wheel.

Thanks for posting this thoughtful topic, Jane. Good job! Most people don't have the whizzies to bring this out into the open. Good for ya!
Ciao, bella...one and all,

Kim said...

Well, Jane, I could give you a big old sloppy kiss this morning. Two comments though to some of the other comments.

The Republican party used to be about fiscal conservancy and small government - two policies I can get behind (definitely more of a teach a person to fish than give him a fish kind of thinker). But this latest generation of Republicans isn't about that - they've increased debt, increased government spending and they have more desire to be ruling your life from "cradle to grave" than ever before. How can you reconcile the belief that they're for small government and letting people live their lives when they want the ability to dictate what I can and cannot do with my body? There are other examples but I won't get into them.

Just because you keep calling a man a maverick doesn't mean he is one. I know, it's the old propaganda mechanism, repeat something enough it becomes truth but the man voted with the current administration at least 90% of the time; there's nothing maverick about that. If you're proud of your record than stand behind it but don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. I'd really been hopeful that finally someone would stand up and steer the Republican party back towards its roots, a real maverick but it's not going to happen now.

As far as being a Libertarian, if you are, that doesn't mean you have to vote Republican. There's a Libertarian on the ballot in most states. I've heard him speak. Vote for him.

Okay - off my soap box now; I need to get coffee. Just wanted to say though, Va Ragazza!

Dana Kaplan said...

Such an excellent dialogue Jane... I'm so glad I came across it through Diana's site. As for me, I consider myself open-minded. I don't vote party, nor can I vote on one or two issues. I try to look at all sides and make the best informed decision that I can. That said, well, I agree with every word you say. Keep it coming...


Jane said...

There have been so many reasoned, good comments and I appreciate them. It is to the point that responding to each would mean not time to do to other things. So--I generally thank you and keep the discourse coming.

Kim mentioned libertarian. I just want to say that was in response to a previous commentator. She wasn't referring to me.

One of the nice things coming out of this is becoming acquainted with some new interesting blogs--like Dana's.