Posted by: thefourwinds | August 29, 2008

More gimmicks

I’ve probably never before agreed with Paul Begala (Democratic strategist and former counselor to Bill Clinton in the White House).  But I pretty much agree with everything he said about John McCain’s VP choice, Sarah Palin, first-term governor of Alaska. 

McCain, currently 72 years old, if he is elected, would be the oldest person ever elected as president.  His health is a huge concern, since he has suffered several bouts with cancer.   So Begala is quite right to point out that we’re not just asking if Palin is qualified to be the VP, but we need to ask if Palin is qualified to be the next president. 

Even the opposing view offered by Ed Rollins, Republican strategist, screams, “Gimmick!”  Some of Palin’s qualifications are listed, but Rollins then goes on to offer all the reasons while Palin will help McCain garner votes (namely, by bringing in disaffected women voters and social conservatives).  So even major Republicans are quite comfortable with the choice for gimmicky reasons, not for reasons of whether she could effectively handle the presidency if anything were to happen to McCain (if he were elected, of course).

Don’t even get me started on how all the descriptions of Palin insist on labeling her “mother of five.”  Is that supposed to be helpful?  Am I supposed to be impressed?  When was the last time you saw a male candidate called “father of three” or whatever? 

Don’t misunderstand my point.  I absolutely support having many children.  Several of my best friends have six or more children.  I myself am from a large family (youngest of eight); I wish I had more than the three children I have (I’m still thinking about adopting more, but that’s just not possible right now).  And I know intimately well the challenges of raising a family.  But how on earth does one go from “mother of five” to US VP candidate and “one heartbeat away” from US president?  If we want to talk qualifications, skip the mother-of-five rubbish. 

Besides, reports have said Palin’s youngest child has Down’s syndrome.  If I’m supposed to be impressed by her mothering, would someone care to explain to me how she, as the governor of Alaska, is being a mother to this child?  How would that mothering situation possibly improve if Palin became the VP (or president) of the US?  So, again, skip the mother-of-five rubbish in the qualifications list. 

So her son serves in Iraq.  Does that mean she knows how to be commander in chief?  I served as an officer in the US Air Force for six years, and I studied the ins and outs as much as I was allowed, and I still barely scratched the surface of what there was to know about the Air Force and the military. 

Yes, there’s definitely something to be said about Palin not being a DC crony, not entrenched in beltway politics.  But if one is going to crack such a monolith as beltway politics, a massive amount of discretion will be required. 

I can’t see this choice as anything but a gimmick to garner votes.  And with McCain’s age and health, I agree with Begala:  the choice is irresponsible.

I’ll be voting third party or independent….

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Responses

  1. Greg you make some good points here. I must confess that I have some resevations with a (this) woman in the Whitehouse. Thanks for the blog!

    dc

  2. Thanks for the kind words, David!

  3. Greg, I haven’t followed this Palin story much, but I like your thoughts.

  4. Thanks Tony. I am curious how this will all play out.

  5. Gimick or not, Palin was the best choice he could have made, and it actually makes me MORE likely to vote for him…I was thinking third party before this.

  6. Josh. Interesting. Why do you say this? What is best about Palin? Simply her social conservative stance?

  7. I’m with Josh.
    At the place we are currently at in this election, I am completely comfortable with on-the-job training (from arguable one of the most experienced Senator’s in DC), Palin’s obvious intelligence, her impressive record, her views and that she is mother of 5 is icing on the cake.
    I am ready for something fresh in this stale campaign and she definitely provides it!

  8. I say she’s the best choice he could have made because I can’t think of anyone he could have picked who would have breathed more life into his lifeless campaign. She will bring more votes to his ticket than anyone else could have, from the woman vote, to the conservative vote (considering how non-conservative McCain himself is), to bringing in some of the independents.

    I don’t like the idea of a mother of 5 being away from the home, but that is her choice to make, and her husbands, not mine. I believe she will make an excellent veep.

  9. Thanks for clarifying, Josh. There’s a point in your logic that I just can’t get around. You say, “I don’t like the idea of a mother of 5 being away from the home, but that is her choice to make, and her husbands, not mine.” However, it is definitely our choice whether or not to approve of their choice by voting for them (McCain/Palin) or not.

    In my opinion, if you were to vote for them, it seems you would be saying one thing (not approving of their choice) but doing the exact opposite (approving of their choice).

    And if there’s any truth at all to the “Sarah Barracuda” personality stories, why shouldn’t we hold her to what the Word says God considers precious in His sight, a woman with a gentle, quiet spirit? (See 1 Peter 3:4). We in the church insist on holding men accountable to certain standards in the Word. Why not hold women accountable to the standards God sets forth for them in the Word?

    If your overall concern is simply to keep Obama out of the White House, may I suggest my previous post (“Throwing Away Your Vote??”) if you haven’t already seen it?

    I believe that Isaiah 3:12 (in the context of that whole chapter) shows that God is bringing judgment on a nation when it is ruled by women.

  10. Hi Sabrina, thanks for logging on and commenting! I hope you guys are doing well. I just barely remember meeting you before you guys moved away.

    Please see my response to Josh above, but I will repeat this one paragraph:

    … if there’s any truth at all to the “Sarah Barracuda” personality stories, why shouldn’t we hold her to what the Word says God considers precious in His sight, a woman with a gentle, quiet spirit? (See 1 Peter 3:4). We in the church insist on holding men accountable to certain standards in the Word. Why not hold women accountable to the standards God sets forth for them in the Word?

    Some of the standards God sets forth are different for women than they are for men.

  11. I never said I was going to vote for McCain, nor did I say I would vote “against” Obama…I never said who I was voting for, I only said that this would make me more likely to vote for him.

    As far as your finding a flaw in my logic, if I were to call the police because someone was breaking into my house, does that mean I support everything they, or their commissioner does? If I buy an American car, does this mean I support the union? Hardly.

    Feel free to “have at it”, I don’t think I’ll check back in to see if you respond…so many blogs, so little time. And I do have to work for a living and raise my family 🙂 Thanks for the article.

  12. I stand by my comments. Grace in Christ to you.


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