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Blink Twice if You Know Sarah

By       Message J.A. Dedd     Permalink
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So much talk about a vice presidential candidate! Everybody just loves--or hates--John McCain's sidekick Calamity Jane from Alaska. But if there is anything at all behind the folksy facade, we hardly know her at all.

We eagerly waited, and waited, and waited for the first news interview since Sarah Palin burst, full-bloom, onto the national stage. As we watched, our worst fears were realized in so many ways one wonders why even the most ardent Republican/evangelical/right-wing conservative isn't demanding a re-count in McCain's VP selection process. There MUST be a more qualified woman in the GOP.  Shame on McCain.

It's no surprise that, until just a few weeks ago, this mother of many and rookie governor of Alaska was way to busy to care about national issues such as a war that has taken a shameful share of American lives and dollars, a foreign policy that has eroded our great nation's reputation throughout the world and a terrifying economy in which venerable institutions collapse, families lose homes and jobs disappear like rats off a sinking ship. Palin was too busy waging war on an ex-brother-in-law and making sure, through now-maligned pork-barrel politics, that her pet projects took more than a fair share of the government bail-out bucks. 

It was a big surprise that she seemed to think the Bush Doctrine was a rhapsodized dream of spreading freedom and democracy throughout the world.  In two weeks of cloistered tutoring, GOP handlers failed to fill her in on that pesky policy issue that was sure to come up in any interview. Their failure put the lovely governor in an uncomfortable spot--dare I say a caribou-in-the-headlights kind of spot.  Shame on McCain.

It's no surprise that the lady, a self-avowed evangelical Christian, defended her opinions on abortion and stem-cell research.  No surprise that she retreated time and time again to safely vague talking points pulled from her convention speech and repeated ad nauseum since. What's a girl to do when she doesn't understand the questions?
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But somebody better give this girl a new script fast, before even ardent supporters conclude she's just a bright-eyed, talking mama doll.  Pull the string, hear the spiel. 

I choose to leave the in-depth parsing of a no-depth personality to others.  But one segment of Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson made my hair stand on end.

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Sarah Palin is George W. Bush in drag, not smart enough to know she's out of her league and convinced that informed intellect and experience don't matter because God will guide her. 

This is a woman who thinks the United States can charm the world with the aw-shucks rhetoric of the wild West. Charm and God's guidance didn't work for Bush so he resorted to war against what he expected to be an easy target.  If it doesn't work with McCain-Palin, at least she's a pretty good shot, is comfortable with firearms and, in her own words, is "hard-wired not to blink."  And, oh yes, she says she believes the mayhem into which she is sending her own son is "God's War."

This woman, who, God forbid, could one day have access to bombs and appointees on the Supreme Court, looked Gibson right in the eye and said she "didn't blink" when offered the GOP's vice presidential bid.  She didn't have to think twice about it because, she explained, she is confident in her readiness to lead the nation. 

How could ANY intelligent person--even one who understood the complex world of international relations and economic survival--honestly say he or she wouldn't blink--a lot--if suddenly catapulted from obscurity to the second highest office of the land?  

After the nightmare of the past eight years, what could be more terrifying than another term of mindless, ill-informed cockiness, shoot-first, ask-questions-later mentality and the unquestioning confidence that anybody hard-wired to never blink can lead a nation?

Republicans are crowing about finding a vice presidential candidate everybody is talking about.  They need to be careful.  When everybody stops talking and starts listening, even Republicans will discover there is nothing behind Sarah Palin's perky facade.  Even Republicans, hoping to capture the White House again, might be the ones saying: Shame on McCain.
  
© Copyright 2008 by J. A. Dedd, reproduce and distribute at will, with proper attribution.

 

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J.A. Dedd is a retired journalist

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Blink Twice if You Know Sarah