This is getting to be a habit with me, but, watching the train wreck/sharkfest in progress, I just can't look away. Yesterday it seemed that there was another Palin revelation every hour on the hour.
Some of them, I have to say, were pretty vile. If I never hear the name Bristol Palin again it will be too soon — the poor kid. A lot of people have maintained that because of her mother's views on contraception and abstinence-only sex ed, Bristol's pregnancy is fair game. But, to quote from a comment
on one of my favorite lefty blogs:
Put the shoe on the other foot. Had Palin advocated a more fully-informed sex education with safe sex practices, abstinence-only advocates could say, “See! She gave her daughter too many choices, too many mixed messages! Children need firm definitions of right and wrong!” ...Palin’s daughter’s situation is anecdotal. It carries none of the weight of an argument grounded in statistical studies.... By all means, argue against Palin’s hard line stance on sex education and reproductive rights, but leave her daughter out of it, because it is too personal and not actually proof of anything.
Truth is, I don't want to go after Palin on family matters and decisions that are none of my or anyone else's business. I'll even give her a pass on Troopergate, and on the Alaska Independence Party, since there's no proof that she ever belonged to it or attended its convention (her husband was a member, however).
Her reformist branding is a different story. She measured her own rope in her acceptance speech when she said, "I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere." Um, not exactly
. She campaigned for governor on that bridge, abandoning the project only when it became a national laughingstock. Not only that, she hired
a lobbyist with ties to Jack Abramoff to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for her hometown of Wasilla (population 6700 at the time) while she was mayor. I sure wish my town had a lobbyist like that: we'd never need another property-tax override.
But she did take on the entrenched bureaucracy, right? Well, not so much
: it seems that she was a director of Alaska senator Ted Stevens's 527 group and happily accepted his help in her run for governor, only turning on him afterward.
The person I really want to see held accountable, though, is McCain. How could he choose as a running mate someone he'd met only once, and whom his team clearly vetted
in the most cursory way, if at all? The story goes that he wanted Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge, but neither was acceptable to the far right; he didn't want to go with a "predictable" choice of Romney or Pawlenty, and that left him with Palin and a choice to either spring his surprise and get the DNC off the front page, or take the time to vet her properly. He bet the house, and now he's stuck with her. So Mr. "Country First" Maturity played junior-high-style games with the most important decision of his candidacy.
How can anyone still support this guy?