This is the new ad from the “yes for life” campaign in South Dakota. It’s a minute and 40 seconds of a whole slew of (white) doctors sharing their support for measure 11 and imploring the viewer to “stop abortion from being used as a form of birth control”…funny, I thought the bill was a ban on all abortions statewide. Oh I get it, they think ALL abortions are being used as birth control. I guess, in their estimation, no responsible person ever gets pregnant when they don’t want to. I must admit I’m personally offended by this assumption.
My favorite part is the use of a cardiologist, an allergist, and a otolaryngologist (fancy name for an ear nose and throat doctor) to speak out for measure 11. How are these people relevant at all? They happen to be doctors, but their expertise is completely irrelevant. How is a pediatrician relevant for the matter? Abortion is about women’s health, which is not in a pediatrician’s job description.
It just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser as we slide deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.
Ah, finally! More and more publicly accessible commentaries on the fallacy of the McCain/Palin maverick status. Theresa alerted me to the recent article in Rolling Stone that takes on McCain and exposes him as just another opportunist that will take any measure, including political stagecraft and myth making, to put himself (not country) first. That’s no maverick.
This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather…
…This, of course, is not the story McCain tells about himself. Few politicians have so actively, or successfully, crafted their own myth of greatness. In Mc- Cain’s version of his life, he is a prodigal son who, steeled by his brutal internment in Vietnam, learned to put “country first.” Remade by the Keating Five scandal that nearly wrecked his career, the story goes, McCain re-emerged as a “reformer” and a “maverick,” righteously eschewing anything that “might even tangentially be construed as a less than proper use of my office.”
On utilizing the media:
“John allows the media to make him out to be the hero POW, which he knows is absolutely not true, to further his political goals,” says Butler. “John was just one of about 600 guys. He was nothing unusual. He was just another POW.”
McCain has also allowed the media to believe that his torture lasted for the entire time he was in Hanoi. At the Republican convention, Fred Thompson said of McCain’s torture, “For five and a half years this went on.” In fact, McCain’s torture ended after two years, when the death of Ho Chi Minh in September 1969 caused the Vietnamese to change the way they treated POWs. “They decided it would be better to treat us better and keep us alive so they could trade us in for real estate,” Butler recalls.
The debate wasn’t so much between Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ms. Palin as it was between the dueling images of the Alaska governor: the fuzzy-minded amateur parodied — with her own words — by Tina Fey on “Saturday Night Live” or the gun-toting hockey mom who blazed into history at the Republican convention.
There was a little of both on stage Thursday night, though Ms. Palin spoke far more fluidly and confidently than she had in her devastating interviews with Katie Couric of CBS. Ms. Palin did stumble into a few loop-the-loop non sequiturs, but mostly she stuck to practiced talking points. She didn’t answer questions directly, but she spoke out with self-assurance and even cockiness, correcting Mr. Biden when he tried to repeat the Republicans’ slogan about oil exploration in Alaska. “The chant is ‘drill, baby, drill,’ ” she said…
Mr. Biden made few mistakes; he appeared more measured and thoughtful on substance, and made forceful points that contrasted with Ms. Palin’s slogans. But she provided the more vivacious, visceral television performance: it was a 90-minute sprint to reclaim her identity as a feisty, folksy frontierswoman ready to storm Washington. And she did it like a reality show contestant — broadly, with stagey asides to the camera, including an assurance to some third-grade students, in what she called a “shout-out,” that they would get extra credit for tuning in…
As I have said many times in the past few weeks, I can only hope that in a media age populated by reality shows the American people don’t vote for a reality star unsure of her own image. A character from a reality show, no matter how much you can relate to that hockey mom with the folksy sayings and annoying wink, should not govern our nation.
Excellent commentary by Rebecca Trasiter at Salon.com today after Palin fumbles repeatedly in interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric.
Where I come from, a woman — and especially a woman governor with executive experience — doesn’t have to rely on any elder or any man to protect her and pull her ass out of the fire. She can make a decision all on her own. (Palin was more than happy to tell Charlie Gibson that she made her decision to join the McCain ticket without blinking.) I agree with Coates that the McCain camp was craven, sexist and disrespectful in its choice of Palin, but I don’t agree that the Alaska governor was a passive victim of their Machiavellian plotting. A very successful woman, Palin has the wherewithal to move forward consciously. What she did was move forward thoughtlessly and overconfidently, without considering that her abilities or qualifications would ever be questioned…
So here it is, finally. And as unpleasant as it may be to watch the humiliation of a woman who waltzed into a spotlight too strong to withstand, I flat out refuse to be manipulated into another stage of gendered regress — back to the pre-Pelosi, pre-Hillary days when girls couldn’t stand the heat and so were shooed back to the kitchen.
Sarah Palin is no wilting flower. She is a politician who took the national stage and sneered at the work of community activists. She boldly tries to pass off incuriosity and lassitude as regular-people qualities, thereby doing a disservice to all those Americans who also work two jobs and do not come from families that hand out passports and backpacking trips, yet still manage to pick up a paper and read about their government and seek out experience and knowledge.
When you stage a train wreck of this magnitude — trying to pass one underqualified chick off as another highly qualified chick with the lame hope that no one will notice — well, then, I don’t feel bad for you.
When you treat women as your toys, as gullible and insensate pawns in your Big Fat Presidential Bid — or in Palin’s case, in your Big Fat Chance to Be the First Woman Vice President Thanks to All the Cracks Hillary Put in the Ceiling — I don’t feel bad for you.
When you don’t take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don’t support, I don’t feel bad for you.
When you don’t have enough regard for your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test — a test that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and participate in its politics — I don’t feel bad for you.
When your project is reliant on gaining the support of women whose reproductive rights you would limit, whose access to birth control and sex education you would curtail, whose healthcare options you would decrease, whose civil liberties you would take away and whose children and husbands and brothers (and sisters and daughters and friends) you would send to war in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and wherever else you saw fit without actually understanding international relations, I don’t feel bad for you.
I don’t want to be played by the girl-strings anymore. Shaking our heads and wringing our hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and readiness. It’s a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere tokenism; it is a disservice to women throughout this country who have gone from watching a woman who — love her or hate her — was able to show us what female leadership could look like to squirming in front of their televisions as they watch the woman sent to replace her struggle to string a complete sentence together…
Traister echoes my own sentiments. I’m tired of this woman. I’m tired of the gender games and manipulation that has been waged by this campaign and their phony feminist ideology and concern for women’s rights. Palin’s response to Couric’s question regarding her feminist identity was ludicrous. How can you honestly state to the people, especially the women of this country, that you are for women’s equality and choice when your record indicates the exact opposite? I’m tired of the transparency of this campaigns lies which is a slap in the face to the citizens of this country. I’m tired of the stage craft and political drama this campaign has utilized as distraction. I’m sick of hearing the same lame line about this team of “mavericks.” The fact that Palin and the McCain camp can’t make up their mind about how they want to craft her image speaks to their insecurity, lack of integrity and dishonesty.
I’m ready for the debate. Unfortunately, this debate, like all of her official speeches, has been careful crafted and she has been diligently groomed for her role. I hope that people don’t forget who the real Sarah Palin is: the woman we saw unscripted and incapable when questioned by Gibson and Couric.
When faced with a floundering campaign, a presidential nominee that vacillates between his declaration that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” to declaring it a national crisis, putting his campaign on hold and returning to Washington as “sheriff” to fix the ails of the economy to a vice-presidential nominee that can’t respond to Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric in a thoughtful manner, fret not. Pimp out your daughter and continue to create media spectacle that will distract the American population from silly issues like the economy, foreign policy and energy independence (coal? Nuclear? No thanks!).
“Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”
I just watched Senator Chris Dodd’s interview with Wolfe Blitzer on CNN. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate a clip at this time. In essence, he rebuked Senator McCain’s lack of clarity and inisght on the situation while using this financial crisis as a moment for photo ops.
“…The developments came on a day of political theater at the Capitol and at the White House where President Bush met with Congressional leaders and the presidential candidates, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois…
…Mr. McCain was seated at one end of a long conference table, Mr. Obama at the other, with the president and congressional leaders between them. Neither spoke, though Mr. McCain smiled broadly as reporters shouted questions that went unanswered by President Bush.”