Tag Archives: SArah Palin

Sarah Palin, according to Eve Ensler

The following essay was forwarded to me from a friend. It is written by Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best known for “The Vagina Monologues”, about Sarah Palin. I have spent plenty of (too much…perhaps) time applying my own political thoughts to this blog in recent weeks and, quite frankly, I’m a little worn out from it. But what I like about this essay is that, you could remove “Sarah Palin” from most lines in this essay and insert “present-day, American culture” and walk away with the same message. I think the essay ought to provoke much-needed consideration about how we, as a culture, treat our planet, our country, animals, literature, other people…and perhaps even encourage us (or, Sarah Palin, as per Ensler) to act differently in light of the kind of footprint past and present generations have left on the abundant resources around us.

Drill, Drill, Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it’s their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don’t like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story — connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God’s plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, “It was a task from God.”

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist’s baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God’s name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, “Drill Drill Drill.” I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

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Question: How Does an Attack Dog Get Himself Out of the Corner He’s Backed Himself Into? (Alternate Title: The Legacy of Joe the Plumber)

Answer to the Question in the title:  He doesn’t.  He just bites and snarls as he goes down in a flame of fury and poorly executed personal attacks.

Did y’all watch the final presidential election debate?  If I could sum up the exchange between senators Obama and McCain, it’d go something like this:  Unflappable Cool Cat Rebuffs (non-lip-stick-wearing) Desperate Pit Bull.

OK, so here’s what I took note of:  Bob Schieffer of CBS news was, all things considered, an excellent moderator for this debate:  encouraging frank dialog between the candidates who joined him at a common desk on center stage, he attempted to lure them into hot waters with weighty questions, keeping the senators to their time constraints and ignoring McCain’s attempts to engage Schieffer as if they were old drinking buddies on military leave at the nearest watering hole.
So without further adieu, the debate topics in order of Schieffer’s questions: (You will find my own personal editorial comments and questions in red italics, as such.)

1.  The Economy:  How would each respective administration get our country out of this economic mess?

McCain: “Folks out there are hurtin’ tonight.  They’re angry and they’re hurtin’…they’re angry…”  I want to help Joe the Plumber realize his American dream by taking nearly half of the $750 billion bailout package and buying up bad mortgages.  (editor’s question: will this benefit Joe Six Pack too?)

Obama: End tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas.  Provide tax cuts for families earning less than $200k/year.  Allow folks to access their IRA’s, tax-free, for a short period of time, if they need to do so to keep themselves afloat in these tough economic times.

2.  As a country, we have a disastrous situation in our national deficit and debt ($1trillion and $450billion, respectively).  How would each administration approach this problem?

Obama: *decrease subsidies to health care companies.  *”cut programs we don’t need”  (editor’s note: like, which ones?). *Encourage government, businesses, and individuals to stop living and spending beyond their means.  (Uh…yeah…that might be a good idea.)

McCain: I’m going to take a big-ass Paul Bunyan-sized hatchet to the US economy and exact an across-the-board spending freeze on every frickin’ program out there.  (Oh, yeah…then I’ll pull out my scalpel and slice away a few more programs like subsidies for ethanol (yeah!) and marketing assistance programs…) (whatever the hell this is…)

And by the way, Senator Obama:  I am not President Bush.  If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have ran four years ago!”  (snicker…snicker…)  Americans are hurtin’, I tell ya’.  They’re hurtin’ real bad…they’re angry and they’re hurtin’.

3.  In lieu of the recent nastiness quotient each campaign has respectively descended into, can each of you sit here, face to face, and proclaim the same things your campaigns have been claiming about each other on tv and during your ralleys?

***Neither candidate addressed this question directly.  They talked about hurt feelings, false claims, 527 groups, Bill Ayers, etc.  But neither one completely denounced the smear tactics nor fessed up to them.

Obama: We can disagree on a variety of topics without being disagreeable.

McCain: Of course, you know, I’ve talked with Joe the Plumber…

Politics as usual.

4.  Why do each of you believe your choice for a Vice Presidential running mate is the most qualified person for that role?

McCain: Sarah is a woman and a reformer.  She knows big oil.  She knows energy.  She knows about raising a special needs child….

Obama: (In direct response to Schieffer’s question regarding whether or not he believes Palin to be a qualified candidate):  “That is something for the voters to decide.”  (an expertly skirted response) Regarding Biden:  he shares the same values and philosophies as Obama.  He has a proven track record of experience in Washington.  He holds strong to his roots in middle class America.  Oh, and P.S. Senator McCain – Joe also knows that for accomplishments to be made, like finding cures for the special needs children Sarah Palin apparently knows about so well…money will have to be spent on things like RESEARCH.  That’s pretty hard to do when you take a hatchet to the budget.  (sorry, couldn’t get italics to turn off here…)

McCain: Yeah, well…Joe Biden had some cockamamie idea to divide Iraq into three countries…so…THERE!

(a note from the editor:  can you really use the word “cockamamie” in a presidential election debate without committing professional and political suicide?)

5.  What’s your plan to address climate change?

McCain: We can do it…it’s easy…I know how to do it…I know how to do everything…it’s no problem…but let’s talk about Joe the Plumber some more…

Obama: Yeah, right, John.  It’ll take about ten years, Bob.

6.  Healthcare.  It sucks in our country right now.  The cost of it, that is.  And the access to it, for a certain sector of our nation.  How do you each propose to fix it?

Obama: We have to control spending and expand spending all at the same time.  We have to cut the cost of premiums.  We have to get rid of discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.  We have to put money into preventative medicine that will pay for itself in the long run.  We have to make health care accessible to everyone and stop the usage of emergency rooms by folks that ought to be seeing a primary care provider.

McCain:  “My old buddy Joe the Plummer out there…” knows what it’s like to have to pay for health care.  So what I’m a gonna’ do is tax your employer-paid health care packages, give you a five grand stipend and tell ya’ all  to go on out and find your own damned health care coverage.  What Senator Government…I mean…Senator Obama wants to do is…

7.  Roe V. Wade:  Should it, or should it not be overturned?  Would either of you use this as a litmus test when considering appointing a new Supreme Court Justice?

McCain: Hell no.  I’d never use this issue as a litmus test.  I’d only appoint someone based on their ability to accurately interpret the law of the land.  But, that being said, I WOULD NOT SUPPORT SOMEONE FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WHO THINKS ROE v. WADE WAS A GOOD IDEA.  This is a moral issue, damn it, and the government has every right to tell a woman what choice she should make in regards to her own body and her own family planning issues.

Obama: Nope.  No litmus test for me, either.  But I think Roe v. Wade was a good choice.  I think “women are in the best position to make their own decisions…” regarding their own bodies.  And I will support a ban on partial birth abortions as long as it includes verbage about a woman’s health and safety.  But mostly, I think we need to work together in a bipartisan fashion to prevent unwanted pregnancies, increase access to adoption as an option, and improve sex education of our youth.

McCain: Yeah, me too.  (But I’m not gonna’ look at you when I say that, Obama.  I’ll only look at you when I’m directly attacking you or your policies.  No more Mr. Nice Guy…the gloves are off, man…the gloves. are. off.)

8.  Educa–  Ok, I’m all worn out.

So, here’s my final take on things:

Obama:  he’s just plain-ol’ cool as a cucumber.  Nothing ruffles the guys’ feathers, from anything I’ve seen as of yet.  And you know what?  I want our next nation’s leader to be able to do that:  to meet adversity and challenge and difficult discussions with a level head.  I don’t want to see another hot-headed, hatchet-wielding, morality nut taking up space in my paid-for-with-tax-dollars white house.

There was a really interesting ebb and flow of energy during tonight’s debate.  With each question MCCain addressed, you could visibly see his blood pressure rising…like the boyhood bulley from somewhere in his distant past had come out to play.  He was antagonistic, petty and…well…desperate.  He pulled out all his trump cards, and Sarah Palin’s too.  Unfortunately, they tended to be flimsy, baseless, and sometimes flat-out wrong.  (You’d think by now he’d know his running mate’s fifth child has Down Syndrome,  not Autism.)

Obama was calm, cool and collected.  He rebutted with ease.  He quoted statistics without a flinch.  He complimented McCain where it was appropriate, and he attacked with finesse.

On a final note, and not one that even came up in the debate tonight, I have to say this:

McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin had nothing to do with keeping the country’s best interests at heart.  It had to do with being opportunistic, and hoping that over half of the US population would vote for him, simply because he placed a woman on the ballot next to his name.  His choice in Sarah Palin was nothing short of political jockeying and, quite frankly, I feel sorry for her.  She was used by her political party as a puppet; a publicity stunt; a last-ditch effort.  McCain figured we, the electorate, would be so enamored with seeing a woman on his ticket, that it didn’t matter what her qualifications were (or were not), and that any ol’ woman would do.  I’m not buying it, John McCain.  I’m more savvy of a voter than that.

Tonight, McCain tried, weakly, to appeal to families with special needs children by mentioning his less-than-prepared running mate’s own personal circumstances.  Again, I say, “I’m not buying it.”

Sarah Palin may be great at what she does in her home life and in her work as Governor of Alaska.  She may be a stupendous multi-tasker, a fantastic mother, wife and friend.  And if all those things are true, then I say:  my hat’s off to her.  But these things DO NOT qualify a person to be Vice President of the United States.  Not Sarah Palin.  Not anyone.

So, to my faithful, and perhaps new readers:  who DO YOU think won the debate tonight?  What are your predictions for how the remaining twenty days of this election will go?  What do you think will happen on November 4?  I’d love to hear back from you.

next post:  something short and sweet.  I promise.

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Matt Damon and Jack Cafferty on Sarah Palin

Couldn’t have said it better myself…
Check out Jack Cafferty and Matt Damon’s take on potential Vice President Palin… 
 

 

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Palin-Biden Vice Presidential Debate: My Two Cents

This country is ready…more than ready…for a female vice president.  We are more than ready for a woman to sit in the number two seat of this country’s governing body…BUT NOT SARAH PALIN.

In case you missed it last night, here’s a truncated re-cap on the first (and only) vice presidential candidates debate:

Commentator Gwen Ifil: Who is responsible for this country’s mortgage lending debacle?

Palin: Those greedy, bastard lenders!  This is not, in any way, the American people’s fault.  “Joe Six Pack”  needs to be able to pay his bills and mortgage and those vultures in the home loan lending industry have ruined that for him.  But, Gwen, let’s talk about energy.

Biden: Wall street.  They proved they couldn’t regulate themselves.  So much for McCain’s deregulation plan for Wall Street.

Ifil: What do you think needs to be done about taxes?

Biden: “The middle class is the work engine of this country.”  We need to give tax cuts to 95% of the US population — those families making less than $150k per year.

Palin: I think we all know where John McCain stands on this issue:  we need to give more money to big business and hope that a few dollars here and there trickles down to Joe Six Pack.  Now, let’s talk about energy…You know in Alasaka where I’m a kick-ass hockey mom and a woman all the big fuel companies love to hate (wait…I’m mean…hate to love…I mean…oh, let’s just talk about energy…)

Ifil: What about health care?  How do each of your tickets propose to fix the nightmare called our health care insurance industry?

Palin: John wants to give families the choice by dangling an insufficient $5k stipened for each family for the purchase of their own insurance plan.

Biden: Yeah, Sarah…that’s a bullshit plan, and you know it.  John wants to TAX the premiums of health insurance plans provided to families by their employers.  Then he wants to TAKE AWAY the health insurance plans that, on average, cost about $12k, and tell families they can replace those with the meager $5k credit Hockey Mom Palin spoke of.

Palin: Um…Gwen?  Can we talk about energy?  Because you know, up there in Alaska…

Ifil: All right, let’s talk about energy.  What would each of you propose to do about converting to clean sources of energy and addressing the problem of climate change and global warming?

Palin: Oh, well, I’m so glad you asked that Gwen…You know this whole “global warming thing” can be explained by a lot of things…cyclical changes in the earth’s temperature…other natural causes…maybe a little human action here and there…but regardless, we need to “clean up this planet.”  We need to reduce emissions and become “energy independent.”  We need to drill the hell out of Alaska, and every other foreseeable location we own.  Drill, drill drill…(big cheerleader smile into the camera)

Biden: Oh…jeeze!  Can someone cut those lights off of Palin?  Her lip gloss is blinding me!
Anyway, let’s not be mistaken:  GLOBAL WARMING IS A MAN-MADE PROBLEM.  We need to understand the cause before we can come up with a solution.  Like wind and solar energy resources, hydrocarbons and nuclear energy sources.

Ifil: What about same sex partner benefits?

Biden: Yes.  They deserve the same civil rights as provided to any committed couple and according to the bill of rights.

Palin: If you think I’m not tolerant…well, you’ve got another thing comin’!  Yes, a gay man or woman should be able to visit his/her partner in the hospital!  But let’s get down to the real issue, Gwen:  AND LET ME BE CLEAR:  I DO NOT SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE.  NO WAY, NO HOW…

Ifil: Well, it looks like you may actually agree on something.  Is that correct?

Biden: Yeah, I think so.

Palin: Oh…um…the teleprompter I’m obviously reading off of doesn’t cover this question…um…can we just talk about energy?

Ifil: What about Iraq?

Biden: We need to set a date, get the hell out of there, and go take care of Afghanistan.

Palin: The surge worked.  We don’t need a time line.  We need to stick it out ’til the Iraqi government can govern it’s own people…even if that takes until Armageddon…
Now you know, Gwen, Iraq is an important resource for energy…

Okay, I’ve gone far enough…the thing is, there are so many women out there: Condoleeza Rice, Hilary Clinton, Nancy Polosi…who would make fantastic Commanders in Chief.  I am pro woman… break the glass ceiling into bits…wear that power suit like it’s goin’ outta style, girlfriend…

But I DON’T think Palin’s the one.

And, let’s face it:  at John McCain’s age, we NEED to be thinking about whether or not his running mate is suitable for stepping in to run this country at a moment’s notice.  And Sarah’s not ready for it.  As far as I can tell, performing as Commander in Chief requires a heck of a lot more than being able to deliver pre-written messages in a time of controversy with an immobile smile pasted on one’s face.  (Ok, I know we could get into past presidents who very much DID act as a puppet for others…but I’ll tackle that one some other time)

End of story, and in my opinion, Joe Biden would be a heck of a lot more prepared to step in as President of the United States, should it ever come to that.  Career politician or not, he’s just more polished, maintains a better command of the issues, sticks to the topic at hand, and has a greater wealth of knowledge of executive-level government.

I obviously had a bit of fun with their debate banter.  What did YOU think of the debate???

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