09 September 2008

When You Least Expect It

When I come to update my blog, I'm always unsure what to write about. There's some personal stuff on the backburner I've held off on writing about because I want to digest it myself. And then there's television, something I could go on and on about but I don't want this to become all about my entertainment obsessions. But one issue I really felt I had to address was the choice of Sarah Palin for vice presidential candidate.

I have to admit, when I first heard about Palin's candidacy, soon followed by the breaking story about her daughter's pregnancy and then capped off with her hockey-mom/pit bull quote, I was just outraged. I was caught up in the debate. Is this woman a feminist? Is she a hypocrite? Is she a victim of sexism? Et cetera, et cetera. But now that things have calmed down a bit, what I'm seeing as the biggest issue is her qualifications. Most politicians (and an extrememly high number of Republicans) are hypocrites. Whether she is or is not a feminist is a moot point. (Although I personally feel that while Palin has benefited from feminism, her policies are clearly anti-women) What is the point is that while we are being mired in these questions, no one is asking can this person (female or male) do the job? Is she qualified to hold the second highest position in this NATION? That is not something to be taken lightly.

Palin attended numerous schools throughout her college education, moving with seemingly no reasoning. She was supposedly a journalism major but no one remembers her working with any campus publications. She's had little experience at the state level, being governor for only a year and half and no international experience whatsoever. These are all issues that the Republican Party took Barack Obama to task for. She's currently in the middle of an ethics investigation for abusing her position to get a local officer fired for "mistreating" her family. And I'm not saying that her experience as a mother is irrelevant but I don't see how it's supposed to make up for obvious shortcomings. If that's the case than Hillary Clinton must have been
overly qualified for president being a successful mother, with a strong educational and political background.

And many people are questioning if McCain's choice shows how much of a "maverick" he is or whether his campaign did not properly vet his choice for VP. I personally think the choice of Palin was a shrewd and calculated move. While we get caught up in the pregnancy scandal and Obama has to sidestep issues of sexism, McCain has created a situation where he gets to sit back and watch the drama unfold and the onus has moved away from proving himself a worthy candidate.

Part of it is the media's attempt to make politics "sexy" and "entertaining". That's why we're watching this year's election unfold the same way we watched Britney Spears' breakdown or followed the Brangelina baby news. We all want our politics served to us in soundbites. Hell Vogue is even doing a story on Palin (which I find ironic since the Republican Party is largely responsible for the economic downturn that is hitting the fashion industry but I guess Anna Wintour would rather Palin than the ever stylish Michelle Obama. Maybe Italian Vogue will give her the cover). So while we're caught up in the USWeekly style coverage, John McCain may sidle right into the White House ... when we least expect it.


Elizabeth Simpson said...

Can you imagine the drubbing she'd get by the press if she were a Democrat? (inexperience charges wouldn't even have time to surface under the crush of "unwed pregnant teenage daughter" and "went back to work merely days postpartum")

shananigans said...

I know. It's kind of killing me. I love the jokes but I feel like we're going to be laughing right up until Nov. 5th when we realize she's in office.