John McCain. Between a detailed plan of hope and change, and a platform promising even more domestic intolerance and global belligerence. Between an optimistic future and a shameful past...">
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The "P"-word

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I suppose it was inevitable, even though I swore I wouldn't contribute to the disproportionate spotlight being focused on the GOP Vice Presidential nominee. But several friends have urged me to weigh in on Sarah Palin so I guess I'll be forced to comply.

But just this once.

So, unless the Governor just happens to do something crazy over the next few months like, oh, let's say, um, shoot a friend in the face while wolf hunting from her helicopter, herein lies my first and last evaluation of Alaska's number one lipstick-wearing pit bull:
1) First and foremost, the selection of Palin was (and I can feel the bile rising even as I say it) absolutely brilliant gamesmanship. In one fell swoop, it did everything the Republicans needed to do to stand a chance against the Obama juggernaut. With the help of a fawning media, Palin has taken almost all focus off of John McCain, the failed policies of the Right, and (better still) any substantive issue whatsoever.

And by adding a woman to the ticket for the first time in its history (albeit with no visible sign in their party platform that Conservatives have actually embraced the idea of gender equality or women's liberation), the GOP has stolen the historical thunder from Barack's White House run. To me, the importance of this particular nuance cannot be overstated. For fence-sitting voters, the chance to be a part of History-with-a-capital-H in electing the multi-racial Senator from Illinois could have been a huge deciding factor.

But with the former beauty queen on the GOP playbill, a vote cast for either side will now technically be a history-making event. Too bad that the average voter will fail to see that this "ceiling-breaker" is nothing more than a calculated political stunt instead of the best person for the job.

As I said, (gulp) brilliant.

2) As for that "best person for the job" aspect, all I can say is GET OVER IT, DEMS. I mean, c'mon - harping on the woman's lack of qualifications seems somewhat unnecessary if we Liberals are actually expecting to win in November.

Sure, let's occasionally remind the public that the equation "Palin = Vice Presidential Material" insults the intelligence of any rational, thinking human being. But by paying so much time and attention to her faults, we're beginning to sound like we believe she and the Arizona Senator are a shoo-in, and our only useful function is to be able to say (at a later date) "I told ya so, America!"

Shouldn't the Democratic stance be to essentially pay no attention to the GOP Veep at all, so confident are we that her experience or lack thereof will be a moot point in 50-odd days?

3) Nevertheless, Palin's unfamiliarity with the truth in describing both her and Mr. McCain's records must not go unchallenged. Ever. Whenever and wherever it occurs.

And if you ever needed an example of true Republican attitudes toward gender equality, you need look no further than the GOP's hypocritical posturing over the "harsh" and "mean" and "sexist" grilling of their darling Sarah. Note to the Right: part of applying for the second-most powerful position in the land is the necessity of withstanding reasonable scrutiny. That comes with the job title - and, man or woman, if you can't take it you're not yet ready for the national stage.

Just ask Senator Clinton if she thought she should be treated with kid gloves because of her gender. To do so would be the very antithesis of feminism. When she was being probed and dissected (as any presidential candidate should be), you Repubs called it "fair and balanced."

Not "improper and chauvinistic."

Grow up, GOP. "Equality" means precisely that. If Senator McCain had chosen Tim Pawlenty instead, we'd have the same right to ask him some tough questions, and expect some educated answers. This ain't an election for the PTA, after all.

4) And finally, let's steer the national conversation back to the fact that this contest is between Barack Obama and John McCain. Between a detailed plan of hope and change, and a platform promising even more domestic intolerance and global belligerence. Between an optimistic future and a shameful past.

For God's sake, let's keep our eye on the ball, kids. Let's move forward with confidence, concentrate on the issues, and demonstrate to the electorate that Sarah Palin will very soon be nothing more than an asterisk in the Republican playbook.

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After 25 years as a Post-Production Specialist in the greater New York/New Jersey area, Bob recently relocated to Orlando to continue his editorial business and begin Art Directing high-end commemorative magazines. He's been extensively involved (more...)
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