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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

If I have to keep track of Sarah Palin for the next four years, I will to document what a horrendous candidate she would ever be on the national stage.  Bumper stickers of Palin 2012 are supposedly selling briskly and women who oppose Palin are being screamed at on conservative blogs.  I read a blog comment that stated the following:

Sarah Palin represents everything the feminist establishment has labored towards for decades. Her real flaw? No ‘D’ after her name…

Now, it may surprise some of you to hear this but I have never considered myself a feminist.  I remember telling this to my first-year college roommate during our first week together.  She just gaped at me.  She was astounded.  She said I was the first woman she’d met who said that.  But there it is.  There are certainly women’s issues that I support.  But I don’t hold onto an entire platform of women’s issues that I feel I must champion.  I appreciate the opportunities I have been given in life.  I appreciate my own ability to battle through a profession surrounded by men.  Yes, there are a good number of women who are environmental analysts.  But we work with engineers (civil, structural, traffic, you name it), city planners, private developers, attorneys, and elected officials.  In my many 10-plus years of project meetings, I am always outnumbered by men.  Sometimes I was the only woman in the room and got to endure being called “Sweetheart” and hearing a pig of a man laugh around the room and say “You know how women are!”  ha ha  But my struggles were my own and I don’t expect anyone to fight them for me or make them any easier. 

That being said, I guess maybe it is because I am not a feminist that I want to hurl my lunch at the thought that Sarah Palin has any attributes that the “feminist establishment has labored towards.”  No wait.  I’m pretty sure that statement would make a lot of feminists hurl also.  There are a lot of individual reasons why individual women in this country do not like her.

I didn’t support her because I don’t agree with many many of her positions as described in the McCain/Palin literature on their website and as reported through the last couple of months.  And her fatal flaws are her two-facedness, her back stabbing tactics, her lack of worldly knowledge (I’m not saying the woman is an idiot. I am saying she hasn’t bothered to care about anything outside of Alaska politics for…..years/ever), and her massive, massive demagogy.

Demagogy.  From merriam-webster online: 

a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power

From Wikipedia:

Demagogy refers to a political strategy for obtaining and gaining political power by appealing to the popular prejudices, emotions, fears, and expectations of the public – typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist or populist themes.

Now, to a certain degree, this type of tactic is commonplace in national politics.  But I really feel that Palin’s rhetoric in the campaign kicked the hate up to a whole new stratosphere.  And this type of behavior from her didn’t just come from being “handled” by the McCain campaign.  Back in September, when Time magazine was introducing Palin to the country, they talked about her past campaigns.  From council to mayor to governor.  Time reported the following:

But in the first major race of her career — the 1996 campaign for mayor of her hometown, Wasilla — Palin was a far more conventional politician. In fact, according to some who were involved in that fight, Palin was a highly polarizing political figure who brought partisan politics and hot-button social issues like abortion and gun control into a mayoral race that had traditionally been contested like a friendly intramural contest among neighbors.

(Article is here: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1837918,00.html)

Demagogy.

And while national speeches and ads often attack the opponent, the hate and furor reached a new high with Palin’s vicious rhetoric.  According to the new behind-the-scenes Newsweek article on the campaign Palin started some of her attack rhetoric before the McCain campaign had finalized a plan to even raise the issue.  And then this:

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied.

She would give speeches and attack Obama and people in the crowd yelled “Kill him!”  Did she chastise those people? No. 

Demagogy. 

This woman should never be allowed to return to the national stage.  Even though I think any strategy to put her back out there would implode on itself and discredit the other ideologues in this country who think she is so fantastic.  Even so, it would not be worth it.  She doesn’t deserve one more second of attention outside of Alaska. I don’t know who these people are who are so ga-ga about the idea of Palin in 2012.  Surely, in the entire country, there are more qualified Republicans who can still engender excitement and enthusiasm in the “party base” or could even, heaven forbid, be appealing to Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike the way John McCain was (once upon a time).   She is not a worthy candidate outside of Alaska.

But don’t take my word for it.  Listen to Bill O’Reilly.

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One of the reasons my Sweetie likes The Daily Show is because of the time the staff takes to show political pundits contradicting themselves.  They manage to find material/quotes/video of pundits who say one thing on one day and something else on another day.

Now, this is not a big surprise to me.  I came to a revelation years ago listening to Rush Limbaugh.  Rush got his talk show start at a Sacramento radio station and there used to be huge billboards around Sactown promoting him.  I have been a listener of KFBK News Radio for years, partly because they had the best traffic updates in the morning.  So, I’ve listened to a lot of their shows.  Tom Sullivan (who was, I think, best man at Rush’s wedding) is the afternoon host these days.  I know people who used to be devout listeners of his show when he made the Big Time and who became (for a while) huge dittoheads of Limbaugh.  They would use Rush’s latest rants to argue political issues with me.  So, from time to time I would listen to Rush so that I could hear for myself what he was saying.  And I made two observations:  1) Rush gets so worked up with his rants that I am convinced he is going to give himself a heart attack on the air someday, and 2) Rush is, first and foremost, an entertainer.  He, like many TV and radio talk show folks, is not working for a non-profit.  So, at the end of the day, what is the bottom line?  It is NOT – hey let’s look at the opinion polls and see if we swayed anyone on this issues.  The bottom line at the end of the day is: What were my ratings today?  It’s all about being fiery enough and holding people’s attention enough to keep them listening.  That fattens the ratings and the paycheck.  I’m convinced that if you talked to most partisan commentators and told them “Starting tomorrow, you have to switch views to keep your job” (with no repercussions – like – the audience wouldn’t even remember what you said today, ala 1984) – I think a large number of them would.  Do you listen to these people rant?  Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Ann Coulter, anyone who ever uttered one word on Air America (yuck).  Pretty useless, all of them, as far as productive commentary.  Give me NPR any day of the week. 

So, given that partisan pundits just want exposure and ratings, it doesn’t surprise me that they can spin any story to support their rants.  Even if it contradicts yesterday’s rants.  What surprises me is that more of their listeners don’t call them on it. 

Now, the hypocrisy that I am speaking of today was pointed out on the Daily Show a while ago.  I sent the clip to my Sweetie (who had already seen it), but I did nt distribute it anywhere else.  I figure – there is so much political hubris floating around, people would get sick of me adding to it.

But today, again, I read someone’s blog who is complaining about anyone making a fuss over Sarah Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy.  And who complains about anyone passing judgement on Palin because of it.  Now, that statement I agree with – AS LONG AS WE DON’T KNOW THE FULL STORY.  Sure, there are probably times when parents make crappy decisions for their kids (hi – I hired a hooker for my 16-year old son).  But, isn’t it a wee bit hypocritical when these complaints come from people who talk all the time about their conservative Christian values and who make judgements about people who take a stand on more liberal issues (as this blogger did just a few days before – he made a judgement call against people who stand up for an issue without knowing anything about them). 

Well, I call shenanigans hypocrisy on you!

And everyone else who does the same thing for the sake of partisan politics.  Just cut it out, will you?

Because I see this issue is still coming up, I am finally going to share this clip for anyone who has not seen it.  The Karl Rove part about experience and the O’Reilly part about teen pregnancy are brilliant and hilarious.  The last part is ok, but I would mainly recommend the first three minutes. 

I think the takeaway lesson here is – don’t use these people to help you make your own arguments.  And – watch out for hypocrisy in your own rants.  I know we can’t always avoid it.  I admited when I was so passionate about an issue here on this blog that my logic and reason could be compromised.  But I can also admit when someone with a different political conclusion has some good/great/valid points in his/her arguments.  Does that invalidate my opinions?  No.  It informs them.  Is that so bad?

For the record, O’Reilly responded to the clip on his own show.   He is correct that The Daily Show edited his comments to fit their mocking point.  But when I hear so many people out in the world doing the same thing (condemming one group of people and supporting another ON THE SAME ISSUE- based on politics), it irritates me.  You can see his response here: 

http://blog.indecision2008.com/2008/09/09/bill-oreilly-slams-jon-stewart-sometimes-a-teen-pregnancy-is-just-a-teen-pregnancy/

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