John McCain knew when he vetted Sarah Palin that he took a gamble, but gamble he did, as recklessly as he has lived. This is the self-professed West Point rebel he exemplified as a young, elite and privileged son of popular military heroes, a “real rounder.”
That is how McCain later lived. As a young married man, filled with military immodesty, he flaunted the rules of marriage, chasing skirts other than his bride‘s, now confessing his “greatest regret”--“failed his first marriage.”
Now, McCain gambles further by picking the former beauty queen, hockey barricuda (a ferocious attack animal), a gun-toting NRS supporter and an Alaskan icon of independence, integrity, and God knows what else, as his running mate--a gamble if there ever was one--all of which sounds like more Cowboy diplomacy currently employed by the White House.
McCain killed his argument against Obama’s “lack of experience” by selecting this unknown, inexperienced partner who excells in the virtues of the “far right” from the “far country” somewhere West of the American frontier. She delivered her speech well, written by others, and I have yet to hear any Democrat or Republican give honest credit to their speech writer (at the minimum plagiarism, at the most journalistic prostitution).
I once thought I knew John McCain. I admired his steady conservative, heroics as a military POW, and sometimes the maverick senator (didn‘t always agree, but I genuinely respected him. Now I know there are two McCains and I do not know which one is the real John McCain.
I fear the wrong real John McCain is standing. His running mate poses the same problem. My immediate response was “great choice” strongly conservative, squeaky clean ethics, fights moral corruption, represents conservative--even evangelical (?) values I could support. Now I find that is not the case!
Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group. There was $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9 million for a transportation hub, $900,000 for sewer repairs, and $15 million for a rail project -- all intended to benefit Palin's town, Wasilla, located about 45 miles north of Anchorage.
That is no different than Ted Stevens, Robert Byrd, or hundreds more of the Beltway Brotherhood. I want my Representatives to work for me, but I want them to first of all work for my country--with integrity…and they do not. I deplore this kind of political inconsistence! It is like all the other “corporate welfare” that allows a $1200.00 subsidy to every citizen of Alaska at Federal Expense.
Palin has also railed against earmarks, touting her opposition to a $223 million bridge in the state as a prime credential for the vice presidential nomination (from which she allegedly kept the money). "As governor, I've stood up to the old politics-as-usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies, and the good-ol'-boy network," she said Friday.
Nontheless, as mayor of Wasilla, Palin oversaw the hiring of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh, an Anchorage-based law firm with close ties to Alaska's most senior Republicans: Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted in July on charges of accepting illegal gifts (and a lot more). According the Paul Kane of the Washington Post, The Wasilla account was handled by the former chief of staff to Stevens, Steven W. Silver, who is a partner in the firm. This is more of the corruption I’ve been seeing over the past 8 years.
The 2008 Republican Party platform acknowledges that "each year, more than 3 million American teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases, causing emotional harm and serious health consequences, even death." It expresses support for "efforts to educate teens and parents about the health risks associated with early sexual activity and provide the tools needed to help teens make healthy choices."
Then it adds, "Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases." McCain has voted to increase abstinence-only funding, voted to terminate the federal family planning program and voted against funding teen pregnancy prevention programs. He voted to require teens seeking birth control at federally funded family planning clinics to obtain parental consent.
Being a teenager means taking stupid risks. The best, most attentive parenting and the best, most comprehensive sex education won't stop teenagers from doing dumb things. The most we as parents can hope for is to insulate our children, as best we can, from the consequences of their own stupidity. SO, LET’S NOT DEMONIZE DEMOCRATS FOR SUGGESTING SOME SEX EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOLS (Bristol Palin would not be pregnant had she insisted on condom use!!--or maybe if she had had some sex education).
I have two grandsons, 15 and 17, and if they would do to a girl what Bristol Palin’s boyfriend Nathan has done -- I simply cannot comfort myself that her situation is a far-off irrelevance!!!!!!!!!! That muddled inconsistency is the way of the barnyard!
Eugene Robinson brings me back to my original thesis of political inconsistence -- In choosing Palin, he [McCain] cynically did the kind of thing that his party is always accusing Democrats of doing: He selected a running mate based on her potential ability to appeal to targeted segments of the electorate rather than for her honestly assessed ability to lead the nation should the occasion arise.
It was that inconsistence that angered me most with George Bush: from candidating days until today, he talked one ball game while playing an entirely different game and that is hypocrisy that I simply cannot tolerate, nor do I believe America can long survive with that ethic running the White House.
I truly fear for America, more than ever before.