Posted tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

Palin Wardrobe: $150,000, Obama in Ten Year Old Pants: Priceless

October 23, 2008

The fact that Palin can’t accurately say what a vice-president does is slightly (but actually only slightly) more important than the fact that her campaign has spent $150,000.00 of Republican donors’ money on her clothes (McCain/Palin, they’re just like us).

Still, fashion is fun. And Palin’s Niemans and Saks splurges make for a very nice study in contrast with Barack and Michelle Obama. The senator manages to look super fine in 10 year old pants and Michelle is setting a fine example in our tough economy by rocking $30.00 sun dresses from the Gap. I’m sure not all of their clothes are OTR, nor should they be, but at least they are modeling how to get through tough times with style.

Months before any of this price tag whoohaa or even our current economic mess, Access Hollywood interviewed all of the Obamas about their family’s fashion budget. The video is funny. You almost expect Malia to refer to her dad as “that one” when she talks about his scuffed up belt. This family is precious, and these kids are being raised right!

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Palin Needs To Stay Off My Street

October 22, 2008

So really, I’ve tried hard to hold my tongue about Sarah Palin. I mean hard, y’all– like sit through eleventy million episodes of the 700 Club hard. Until recently I’ve just considered her a charming (at least) pseudo-intellectual pull string doll clothed in $150,000.00 of clothes should have taken the form of a few more television ads as far as I’m concerned. But if that’s how they want to spend their money…

Anyway, I kept my claws in until she went and opened her yap about how she would just love to change our country’s constitution so that John and I have no hope of protecting our relationship. That’s right, we’re headin’ back to 2004 to the Federal Marriage Amendment if Palin has anything to say about it.

Ellen Degeneres’ response is much kinder than mine is likely to be if I ever happen to run into this slack-jawed moose killer on my street. Word Palin, stay out of the Near East Side.

I told you all I’ve been watching CNN a whole lot lately. I’ve been watching it way too much I think because they’ve invited me to their Christmas party.

I don’t know if you saw this, but Vice Presidential Candidate, Governor Sarah Palin says she’s in favor of a federal ban on gay marriage. Basically she wants to change the constitution.

So if you’re wondering, I’m sure you are, how I feel about this…I don’t like it, I don’t like it. I don’t agree. Maybe it’s because I’m gay that I think we should all be equal. But I feel that we’re all equal.

I don’t know what people are scared of. Maybe they think that their children will be influenced. And I gotta say I was raised by two heterosexuals. I was surrounded by heterosexuals just everywhere I looked heterosexuals. And they did not influence…. I mean I dabbled in high school, who didn’t? Everyone dabbled, ya know?

People are gonna be who they’re gonna be. And we need to learn to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love.

I pray, pray, pray that none of Palin’s children turn out to be gay. Or better yet, that they do, and that they be destined to stuff her antiquated theological politics into one of her precious off shore oil rigs.

Sermon On The Campaign Trail

October 10, 2008

Last night I was watching my church’s dress rehearsal of Godspell, which premieres tonight and runs through Sunday (see it). Listening to the Sermon on the Mount through the lens of our current election cycle was startling.

I was struck by how tough Jesus’s command to “bless those who curse you and say all manner of evil things about you” is for me these days. How do you turn the other cheek when you believe the future of your country is at stake? Some campaign speeches seem written to make enemies of our fellow citizens, with words like “domestic terrorist” bandied about and answered by “treason” and “kill him” as if these were cheers at a football game. How should I love these people? I made a commitment to my faith long ago that tells me I must, but how do I do it?

Sunday a group of friends from church came by the house for lunch so we could talk politics. One of the questions I wanted help with was thinking about the Christian response to negative campaigning.

By negative campaigning, I mean non-policy related jabs. I don’t have a problem with candidates putting one another in a negative light as it relates to their policies and performance, since one would reasonably assume negative outcomes for policies we disagree with.

But lies about character and questioning someone’s patriotism? That and unsubstantiated whispers of a candidate being “not like us” send me over the edge (as you no doubt know if you read this blog much).

So as we enter the last 25 days of the campaign:

Does anyone have any ideas for ways to love those who spread lies about character?

What is the correct response when in 2004 we saw what effect NOT fighting back against lies has?

What does winning mean?

Sarah Vs. Troy. The Real Debate.

October 6, 2008

The upside of having someone as uninformed as Palin on the Republican ticket is that any one of us can imagine ourselves debating her, and winning!

Here’s what a mini-debate between Palin and me might sound like after this weekend:

Sarah: “I’m reading on my Starbucks mocha cup, okay? The quote of the day… It was Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State [crowd boos] and UN ambassador. … Now she said it, I didn’t. She said, ‘There’s a place in Hell reserved for women who don’t support other women.'”

Troy: Wow, you really are impressive. You managed to scare conservative religious women who were on the verge of thinking for themselves into worrying about their salvation if they don’t vote for you. AND you manage to misquote an elder stateswoman who has more brains in her pinkie finger thumbnail than you do.

What Madame Albright and that Starbucks cup said was “There’s a place in Hell reserved for women who don’t help other women.” See the difference? Since you say Afghanistan is one of America’s neighboring countries, I can’t imagine that you do, so let me spell it out for you. “Support” in a campaign speech means “vote.” “Help” means “help.” The way you are forcing your daughter into a doomed marriage at such an early age, that’s an example of NOT helping, and it makes me wonder if you aren’t feeling a little heat on the seat of your own Valentino skirt.

The good news is that we at least know you read SOMETHING daily even if it is just a sentence on a paper cup that you still manage to get wrong, and not a newspaper.

Sarah: “Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country…This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America…We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.”

Troy: “Palling around with terrorists?” Wow, let’s talk about how little character you must have to throw around an accusation like that, especially after the Associated Press, the New York Times and the CNN Fact Checker debunked those lies. Palling around with terrorist? Really? Isn’t that essentially accusing someone of treason? The more I imagine you saying that, the more convinced I am that you are the most craven and cynical candidate in years, which is especially disappointing to me given what a point you have made of your Christian faith.

So I’m curious, when Emporer Palpatine came to shrivel and kill any sense of honor you might have had, did it affect your skills as a parent? I don’t mean to sound sexist or anything, but does Valentino even make long black cloaks? I’ve always thought of them as the short skirt people. And isn’t it going to be difficult to take care of the kids with a misquoted Starbucks cup in one hand and a red light saber in the other?

No that’s silly, no one would ever ask a male candidate these questions. They MIGHT, however, ask any candidate why the McCain/Palpatine ticket can’t address the real issues that matter to Americans like the economy, healthcare, sustainable energy and a foreign policy that doesn’t require us to snub even our NATO allies! And the answer is because you have no answers.

VP Debate – The Eight-Year Test and The “That’s So Them” Test

October 3, 2008

For better or worse, here are the two more influential lines of thought that inevitably go through my head during the debates:

1. The Eight-Year Test. Can I handle this person for eight years? I’m seeing the polished version of the candidate, on a good day. This is the person who will be charged with bringing us together during a crisis when we need straight talk. Is this candidate capable of that?

2. The “That’s So Them” Test. The debates have a way of revealing a candidate’s idiosyncrasies. What are the unique characteristics that they can’t hide no matter how much coaching they get? Are they cute and quirky or annoying? Or are they downright dangerous?

So, here is how Biden and Palin scored in my mind.

The Eight-Year Test:

Biden – I could totally be on board with Biden for eight years if Obama couldn’t finish out his term. He was tough, direct, and willing to pry through to answers even when the conversation was taken off course by Palin’s rather deliberate choice not to answer many of the questions. (Hey, at least she told Gwen and Joe she wouldn’t be answering them.) I also found him to be very human in an unforced way.

Palin- If McCain wins, I will demand that Bob Greene and Jack Lalanne move in with him and that Joseph Pilates be resurrected from the dead to join them since I refuse to have him die and leave us with Sarah Palin as our president. I will NOT have another president who can’t convince me that she knows more than I do about foreign policy. While for many Americans she might be a comforting presence in a time of crisis, I tend to only be comforted by the truth, and I have yet to see evidence that she has a firm grasp on it. I’m not saying she’s a liar. I just don’t think she has a wide enough base of knowledge to recognize fact from fiction. And if she doesn’t have it now, I wonder, will she ever?

The “That’s So Them” Test:

Biden- All of Biden’s quirks fell into the cute or at worst quirky category for me. Getting choked up as he spoke about knowing what it is like to be a single parent could have been a disaster. Instead it was the most crystalline point of humanity I saw all night. He gave Palin space, and not in a “give her enough rope to hang herself with” way, which, honestly, she didn’t. He gave her room to speak, and sometimes sputter, without smirks and heavy sighs. At times, he almost seemed like a mentor. I totally bought his “and then my friend said, Joe…” lines. In fact, I found myself wanting to go find him on Amtrak so I could sit down and talk to him about how I think we could fix things around here. He was magnanimous and gracious, and I suspect Palin was grateful for the experience.

Palin – I’m gonna lay it down for you here. I will probably never agree with her politics, but I think Palin has the chance to be an important politician. She has the ambition, and she has an engaging presence. She may even be able to wrap her head around important issues, though she obviously needs more than two months to do it (understandable). But she should drop the “fixins” and the “gonnas,” the “you betchas” and the eye winks. She doesn’t need them. I’ll say it again. She doesn’t need them. Don’t give me the “but Main Street loves it” crap. Bill Clinton is the biggest hilljack bubba we are ever likely to have in the highest office in the land, but he speaks well. Really well. Really, REALLY well. He gets his “kountry” on not by butchering the English language, but with eye contact and voice inflection and friendly body language (a little too friendly in some cases). THAT is Main Street, and she can totally pull it off.

On a more substantive “That’s So Them” note, her refusal to answer questions asked of her is something her past Alaskan debate opponents noticed and warned us about. It’s a problem because either her maverickiness has given her a Bush-like lack of respect for the truth or she didn’t know the answers well enough to take the question. I suspect the latter.

So there you have it. By my estimation, Biden won. Big surprise, right? What that’s you say? What about the policy issues? You big silly, presidential election debates aren’t about policy positions.

Don’t misunderstand me. A grasp on and an ability to articulate policy is an important baseline for performance, but it is only a baseline. Pity the poor candidate (Al Gore) who thinks crossing it with the greatest ease will win. Biden and Palin both knew it. Well, Biden did. Palin may simply have been in the position of not knowing enough about policy for it to overshadow her other assets.

McCain Campaign: Women Should Be Seen Not Heard

September 24, 2008

Kenneth Vogel at Politico writes about how Palin’s handlers are skating on thin ice with the press these days for courting photographers but refusing to allow print journalists to talk to her.

Long story short, they want cameras because she’s pretty. They don’t want questions from reporters because she’s ignorant.

I’m sorry, but the actuarial tables say there is a one in three chance that this woman could be my president if McCain is elected. As a voter, I think I have a right to hear her unscripted views, especially when it comes to her interactions with world leaders.

Palin’s handlers were happy to have photos taken of her with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (does this mean she can say she’s visited Afghanistan now?) and other world leaders at the U.N. conference, but even the Wall Street Journal’s reporter was denied access to cover it. And the WSJ is known to be pretty friendly toward conservatives.

So what is McCain hiding? Is she really that bad? Palin has basically been relegated to the roll of mic girl for McCain. She delivers the same four or five (inaccurate) lines at every campaign stop, and then hands the mic over to McCain so the crowd can start dribbling out to go about their day.

She has not been allowed to give one press conference. The male candidates, including Biden, God love him, have all given several and speak to the press constantly (*With exceptions, see note below). Unlike the guys, the female candidate is being shoved in front of cameras but held back from speaking to the press. This has prompted accusations that McCain is treating his own candidate in a sexist way, including this rant from CNN’s Campbell Brown. It’s short, but worth a watch.

*All Aboard the No Talk Express: McCain himself hasn’t given a press conference in 40 days. He used to refer to the press as his “base” and his bus as the Straight Talk Express. But for whatever reason, his handlers have been refusing to let him talk to them lately. In Ohio yesterday, after McCain ignored questions about the failing economy, one frustrated reporter yelled after McCain, “Has your bus become the No Talk Express?”

When Does Democracy Die?

September 10, 2008

My biggest problem with McCain and Palin is that they have unleashed a storm of lies that have gummed up the democratic process. They are running their campaign on Bush’s same cynical premise, namely if they lie over and over again to a press that risks getting kicked out of the game for calling them on it, they can get away with it and convince the electorate that their lies are the truth. It worked in 2000. It worked in 2004. And I worry that it is working again in 2008. If people think McCain/Palin will be different than Bush/Cheney, this is some pretty strong evidence to the contrary.

Hunter over Daily Kos questions the kind of thinking that will force a win at any cost the way the Republicans do.

Then what do we have elections for? If I can simply stand up and say “so-and-so’s tax policy will cost you all one million dollars each,” when it won’t, or “so-and-so is a supporter of infanticide,” when he isn’t, or “so-and-so wants to show your children dirty pictures,” when it’s not true, or “I was against this bad thing” when we’ve got freakin’ film of you supporting it — what’s the point? It is impossible to have a democracy without informed voters, and it is impossible to have informed voters when you are going out of your way to lie to them.

…If we welcome open, direct lies into our political discourse, it’s not political discourse anymore — just the oratorical equivalent of an organized crime ring. McCain knows he can lie through his teeth and almost nobody will truly call him out on it — at least, not compared to all the people who will hear the lie. That’s been the strategy for every election involving the old Nixonites, from then until now, and there’s no chance it’s going to go away until there is a price to be paid for being a nationally televised liar. So when’s that going to be?

So when does a democracy officially die? At what point are the barriers to an informed electorate too great for a true election to occur?

Fortunately Obama isn’t afraid to call them on a lie. I really need to see him do this (From CNN):

“Spare me the phony outrage. Spare me the phony talk about change,” Obama said at the start of an education event in Norfolk, Virginia.

“We have real problems in this country right now. The American people are looking to us for answers, not distractions, not diversions, not manipulations. They want real answers to the real problems we are facing.

“I don’t care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics. Enough is enough,” he said, referring to how Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched attacks against Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.