Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On Palin, pregnancy, and PUMA

Point one: McCain deciding to choose Palin as his Vice Presidential candidate was bold, risky, brilliant, but probably an incredible sacrifice. By choosing Palin, he can now claim a historic ticket just like Obama, and gain some leverage with jilted Hillary supporters who were leaning towards the Republican side and now may be willing to make that leap. And, with Palin having a big, wholesome family and being strongly religious, she can help to give a little more balance to McCain, who is still mistrusted by evangelicals for speaking out against them in his maverick days (though they aren't as skeptical of him as they should be, predictably). Of course, this comes at the risk of being too transparent of a ploy to get women voters on to the Republican side, chasing them away, while simultaneously chasing away the "barefoot and pregnant" brand of misogynists on the far right. At the same time, she may seem to be immune to being challenged for inexperience due to Obama having the same problem, her presence effectively makes it so that challenging Obama's inexperience is a moot point now. The tickets are balanced both in regards to experience and their historical nature.

Point two: Palin's daughter is pregnant apparently. And there is much conflict amongst the Democrats (surprise) about whether or not this issue should be addressed. I am a big supporter of not bringing up the sex lives of candidates, or about bringing up the candidates' families at all. We are not electing their family, after all. But, I am conflicted on this, since I am in favor of mentioning something that illustrates failures in a candidate's policies or outright hypocrisy. I am not sure if it applies here, but there is a definitely a double standard. I do think that unless we have a relevant reason for dragging the issue into the public eye further, that we should do as Obama suggests and take the high road. Most arguments I have heard for why Palin's views could be relevant to her daughter's teenage pregnancy have to do with assuming that abstinence only education was at fault and the fact that she applauded her daughter for making a choice (keeping the child) that she wishes to deprive others from making. Other than that, which are kind of weak as it is, there is really no good reason to bring it up and we should leave it alone.

Point three: Former Hillary supporters (alluded to in point one) who are willing to either forfeit votes or vote for McCain to spite Obama seem to be rather vocal on the net. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are any more relevant to the electoral process overall than the equally net-frenzied Ron Paul supporters of yestermonth, but they still seem to have a lot of presence. Some seem to be dwelling on some perceived misogyny in some of the remarks made in media coverage (the only one I can think of us is the idiotic manner that they covered her crying spell after winning one of the early primaries, but I am sure there were other instances, as there usually is). Or they may be reacting to particularly abrasive Obama supporters online (I know, someone said something rude and inconsiderate online!) or in real life. [Side note: they are also dismissed as some form of cultist if they are not able to give a good reason for why they are voting for Obama. Just FYI.] Others seem to still just be peeved about Hillary not being allowed to get votes from the two states that were discounted at the very beginning of the primary season, according to rules that were agreed to beforehand. And still more just plain don't like Obama (claiming that he is sexist, though I am not sure why, to be honest).
I honestly don't know whether these people are actually sincere Democrats, or just cross-overs who are crossing back now that Hillary has fallen out. But still, the ones that claim to be pissed off Democrats seem to be put into a state where they think it is detestable that people would expect them to vote for Obama instead of Hillary now that he was won the nomination, due to the fact that he is the one who shares the most in common with their former "messiah" (turnabout is fair play, no?). They deplore the idea of "party unity" because they argue that it is commanding them to vote a certain way, feel as if they are victimized due to Hillary losing, etc. etc.
I sincerely hope that there are not many of these people. This is a very important election, and we do not need to have the Democrats lose once again, and due to a bunch of disgruntled voters who are willing to vote for someone they disagree with on almost every issue out of pure spite. I send out a prayer that this will not occur. As an atheist....that should serve as a testament to my desperation.

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