Sunday, August 31, 2008

Idiot Media Coverage of Palin - One of Many to Come

I'm going to have a lot to talk about in the wake of the announcement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the VP nominee of the Republican Party. There is so much misinformation floating around about her that correcting it could be a fulltime job.

Today, I will start small. The following is an excerpt of a discussion on Friday's (Aug. 29) PBS NewsHour between NewsHour host Jim Lehrer and New York Times columnist David Brooks. Brooks was responding to a question by Lehrer whether Palin could draw in more women:

"DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I do, and the fact that she is working class. She is, as she says, a hockey mom, which I guess is tougher than a soccer mom. She -- you know, her husband's a member of a union. She said she works with her hands. She's not a pretentious person. You know, they were not going to nominate Mitt Romney and have the two wealthy guys. So that's good. And I think the second thing -- and, again, this is all contingent on the fact she does well, which we really don't know."

OK. She's "working class." According to the Council of State Governments, the governor of Alaska makes $125,000 per year. That's a pretty nice salary. In addition, her union husband is now in a non-managerial position at British Petroleum, after being a production supervisor (not exactly a low paying job). He also owns a commerical fishing business. So, while the Palins have 5 children, they are not working paycheck to paycheck like many Americans are in this economy.

She "works with her hands." Will the duties of the VP in a McCain administration include carpentry or plumbing?

She's "not a pretentious person." So, we should be confident about her being VP to possibly the oldest president in our history because she is not pretentious?

It could be argued that Joe Biden is pretentious. If something happened to Barack Obama if Obama became president, does that pretentiousness lessen Biden's qualifications to be president?

Then Brooks continued in his analysis:

"DAVID BROOKS: But I thought she did well today. But the second thing to be said is she is an under-45 Republican. That means she's unwedded to Reaganism. She's a -- she's evangelical, but she's pretty progressive on gay and lesbian issues. She's for drilling in ANWR, but she talks about global warming quite a lot. She's got different categories in her head than, I think, the older conservatives who are pretty much down the line ideologically."

"Progressive" on gay and lesbian issues? She is ardently against same-sex marriage, and has spoken out against civil unions and benefits for same-sex couples. What she did do was veto a bill from the Alaska state legislature that would have banned state benefits for same-sex couples, a veto that came about because the Alaska Supreme Court had already indicated such a ban would be unconstitutional. That's an interesting interpretation by Brooks of being "progressive" on gay and lesbian issues.

"She talks about global warming a lot." Yes, she does. She does not believe, as much of the scientific community does, that humans have had anything to do with global warming.

But Brooks' best line is: "She's got different categories in her head than, I think, the older conservatives who are pretty much down the line ideologically." She is anti-abortion, even in the instance of rape and incest. She is major supporter of gun rights as a lifelong member of the NRA and hunts (hopefully better than our current VP). She is pro-death penalty. She filed suit against the federal government to prevent designating the polar bear as an endangered species because it could have a negative impact on the oil industry. She believes creationism ought to be taught alongside evolution.

In what way is she different ideologically than older conservatives?

Supposedly she is a reformer, having run against the incumbent Frank Murkowski because his administration was so corrupt. But, was her desire to run against Murkowski fueled by her desire to clean up Alaska's government, or by the fact that he passed her over when he appointed his daughter Lisa to fill his Senate seat when he took over as governor in 2002? After all, one of her first acts as mayor of Wasilla (after a resounding victory where she garnered 909 votes) was to fire the police chief, a city official who supported her competitor.

After all, you know what they say about payback?


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