Sunday, September 7, 2008


Someone has just got to say this outloud without apology, so I guess it will be me. Choosing Sarah Palin for McCain's VP was the biggest insult that McCain could have foisted upon us. Every damn one of those sanctimonious so-called conservative Republicans who spoke at their convention knows she's a trainwreck for a VP, but they've got their heads so far up their lilly white rumps that they can't bring themselves to utter any words remotely resembling honesty. And what about 'maverick' McCain? He has sold his soul to win the big prize, and he is as far removed from his "Country First" slogan as a man can be. What a pathetic display he has been. A fading shadow of his former self.

One of the things that paralyzes this country and our national conversation about politics is our apparent inability to hold two divergent ideas in our heads at the same time. Something must always be one way or the other. So, in an effort to address that, I will say here and now that Sarah Palin is a very good speaker. She has good stage presense. She makes good eye contact and tells a good story. Her form is very personable and folksy. She drops her "g"s so that when she "goes huntin'", you feel like---well, dare I say, you want to go along to have a beer with her afterwards. Hmmm...this is all sounding and feeling very familiar.

But I am talking about--and we should be talking about--the difference between form and content. One can be quite eloquent and not say a thing ("All sound and fury, signifying nothing") I once was praised by my college English prof in front of the whole class for being so eloquent on a term paper. He finished his praise, as he handed me my paper, adding "But it didn't say a damn thing." I got a D- , and a smile from the professor. It was a great lesson on being honest and concise.

I have been listening very closely to Sarah Palin and what she says--her actual words, not her expressions or her smile or her body language. I am looking for knowledge, mastery of her subject, intellectual depth. My own conclusion so far, until we actually hear her answer media questions, is that she is winging it half the time. I think she knows a little bit about a few things and a fair amount about the Alaska pipeline. I think she is less educated than many, if not most, Americans working in public office, and I think she knows how to use her strengths (her personality and her good looks) to her advantage. And I think she truly loves her home state, even if that means killing wolves from planes and drilling in ANWR. Why she would want to leave the place she and her family love so much is beyond me. Maybe she thinks its "God's will"......

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