In what can only be seen as a rather pathetic attempt to win over some of the Clinton supporters, McCain has chosen for his running mate, a woman by the name of Sarah Palin.  The reasons this is so pathetic are several.  McCain has continued to slam Barack Obama for his lack of experience and yet his choice for Vice President is someone who has an embarrassing lack of experience herself.  Before governing one of the least populated states in the union, Palin was mayor of a town of about 6000.  Palin has no foreign policy experience and, unlike Obama, has shown nothing in the way of vision for this country beyond spouting the same tired talking points coming from the religious right for so many years now.  Conservatives are quick to point out that she still has more experience than Obama but for McCain, a 72 year-old man who’s had two bouts of cancer, to criticize Obama’s lack of experience and then choose for this country’s second in command someone with as little experience as Palin, is hypocritical to say the least.

Palin is unlikely to win over many Clinton supporters either because unlike Clinton, who has been a champion for women’s rights for years including fully supporting a woman’s right to control her own body,  Palin has emphatically come out against women’s right to abortion even in cases of rape and incest.  This no doubt will please many on the right but Clinton supporters are looking to increase women’s rights not decrease them.

Palin bills herself as a reformer, willing to take on large corporations and corruption in politics but the reality may be less inspiring.  Palin is currently under investigation for abuse power for allegedly attempting to have a state trooper, her sister’s estranged husband, fired and when that failed, firing his boss for refusing to fire the trooper.  Palin is intricately linked to Senator Ted Stevens who happens to be under indictment for taking bribes from oil pipeline company VECO, a company that has donated to Palins campaign as well.  There’s currently nothing to suggest that Palin has been involved in anything improper here but her strong connections to Stevens hardly qualifies her as a champion against corruption.  And then there’s the infamous “bridge to nowhere,” a pork barrel project that would have cost $398 million and served about fifty people, that Palin bragged to Congress she opposed, saying “thanks but no thanks.”  Except that she was in favor of the bridge until it became clear that it wasn’t going to happen.

And now, Palin, who opposes sex education for our young people and is a tireless defender of “family values,” has just revealed that her seventeen year-old, unmarried daughter is pregnant.  Republicans of course are crying foul now that Palin’s pregnant daughter has become a big story but what goes around comes around.  Ordinarily I would consider this to be no ones business.  I for one, would love to see a complete end to stories of flag pins and bowling scores, sexual scandals and religious affiliations but the Republicans just won’t let this stuff die, just ask McCain about the “black baby scandal” pushed by none other than Karl Rove, king of the dirty tricks campaign.  If you’re going to campaign on “family values,” it’s probably a good idea to actually live them.  But even beyond the obvious hypocrisy is the fact that Palin’s daughter is living proof of the failure of the very policies Palin, McCain and Republican Party expound.  Even worse, Palin’s daughter no doubt, will still have the opportunity to finish school and with the support of her family, go on to do whatever she wants to do with her life.  But what of all the pregnant teens who lack that kind of support structure?  It’s easy to tell others how to live when you are one of the ones with choices but those who’s options are limited need just the kind of education that Palin opposes.  The hypocrisy of Palin and her ilk is obvious but what is far more troubling is her lack of support for those needing it the most.

Just to fill in some gaps, Sarah Palin does in fact have foreign relations experience. Not only being the only state of the Union that shares borders with two nations (which comes with many agreements that are enforced on the state level), Alaska is a part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, which includes Canada. On the scale of foreign relations experience, her two years as governor is (at the minimum) on par with Obama’s world tour over the Summer.

As far as her daughter being pregnant and your comments regarding family values, I do not see how this is contradictory. Her daughter is keeping the baby and is getting married, which is in line with the underlying theme of responsibility within family values. Palin, no any other parent (legally), can not stop her children from engaging in risky behavior. All she can do is share her beliefs with them, and then be supportive if they find themselves in trouble (as is the case here). So I don’t see how that is hypocritical in any sense.

But you are right though. Not all of the children out there have the support structure that Bristol has. We need to work to bring “family” back into the mainstay of society. However, that cannot be done by the government but by society itself. We lost something back in the sixties and need to reclaim it. It goes back to responsibility.

I think if you asked Martin Luther King if he “LIKED” the 1950s he would disagree with you. Your argument is purely subjective. What evidence (beyond anecdotal) can you offer to support this statement?

The prosperity of the 1950s was a result of the HUGE increase in jobs and US Government Spending during World War II.

If I remember correctly, both Unemployment and Inflation were well into double digits at the time Ronald Reagan took Office (from a Democratic President). By the end of the 1980s the Economic Policies that “favored Big Business” had reduced Unemployment and Inflation to numbers very similar to what we have today (during our HORRIBLE recession).

Obama has lots of Opinions. He is even very gifted at expressing them. But, I have Opinions as well. That doesn’t make me qualified for President of the United States.

At least Sarah Palin has developed a plan and successfully executed it!

BKB

BTW – If you check Pregnancy Rates for the various States, you will find that demographics has a much higher correlation than Sex Education Programs (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2006/09/12/USTPstats.pdf). Interestingly, you will find Alaska is near the middle of the pack.

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