The problem with Sarah Palin as Republican veep candidate has absolutely nothing to do with unwed pregnant daughters, or being a former beauty queen, or being the mayor of such a small town, or any of that. It's that she's a lying sack of shit, and no different than what's come out of the White House for the last eight years.
She claims to be against pork barrel projects, yet as mayor, hired the city's first ever Washington lobbyist for the sole purpose of getting earmarks for Wasilla.
She claims to be a corruption challenger, but used to head a 527 group created for the sole purpose of supporting Ted Stevens.
She claims to have said "no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere, yet fully supported it prior to becoming governor, and only stopped the project AFTER taking some of the money from the feds and reallocating it to other projects.
Alaska has some of the worst high school graduation rates in America. She claims that human-caused climate change is unproven and based on vague science (and yet she supports teaching Creationism in schools as actual science).
She is against federal funding for stem cell research, yet claims to be an advocate of special needs children. By "advocate", it's clear what she meant was that she's an advocate of using special needs children as political props, particularly her own. I can't wait for the campaign button of lil' Trig that says "Vote for Mom!"
The problem with Sarah Palin is not that she's a woman. There are plenty of women in politics today qualified to serve as vice-president (and by that token, as president), from either party. Whether or not you agree with their views or politics is one thing, but wonderfully smart and accomplished women from Olympia Snowe, to Janet Napolitano, to Mary Landrieu, to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, to Hillary Clinton, to Kathleen Sebelius, Democrats and Republicans both, all are far far far more qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. The problem is not that she's got ovaries and children, because that is certainly not a problem.
The problem is that she is as dishonest and conniving a politician as anyone who has ever been part of the Bush administration. Palin claims to be a maverick, and yet is no more than a parrot of the most extreme positions of the current administration. That she wears a skirt, skort, or pantsuit is utterly irrelevant and immaterial. That she's attempted to have certain books banned, and abuses power to fire a state police chief, as part of a petty family squabble, are problems. That she practices the Karl Rove guide to law enforcement hiring and firing is a problem.
What's sad is that the Republican party has stooped to such pandering. The right wing pundits are crying wolf by complaining about alleged sexist rebuttals of Palin's qualifications and candidacy. The real sexism is that practiced by McCain and the Rove-trained operatives who decided along the lines of "hey, let's put some young hot female politician on the ticket, surely that will capture the former Hilary vote". Now that is sexist, particuarly so in that it completely discredits the notion that women will care more about the candidate's gender than they will about her positions, which stand in diametric opposition to virtually everything Hillary Clinton believes in.
What's sadder is that it represents the final destination of John McCain's long trip from being an actual conservative yet independent minded politician, to the desperate trench of following Rush Limbaugh's beckon call, for the sole purpose of fulfilling his lifetime naked ambition of political power. If candidate McCain believes in "straight talk", why does he choose for a running mate someone whose actual actions stand completely apposite to what she says they are?
And to candidate Palin, why do you feel the need to lie about your record, if you're as proud of it as you claim to be?
Frankly, of all the post-veep nomination speech commentary I've come across, on both sides, feminist stalwart Gloria Steinem seems to have distilled the issue the best, in today's Los Angeles Times, including the following highlights:
"Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax."
"Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for..."
Of course, post-convention, the Republicans will enjoy their brief bounce, that's only natural and expected. However, well-reasoned commentators will soon latch on to the fact that there is so much wrong with Palin as a candidate on things that have absolutely nothing to do with her gender, her motherhood, her children, or anything else. You want to link McCain to a "3rd Bush term"? Why not, McCain did so when he picked Palin, straight out of the extreme right wing casting pool. And that is why November is not going to be good for Republicans this year.
I know Miami Don's going to disagree, as he cites Real Clear Politics' reviews as being 100% positive on Palin's speech, and claims Palin is a far cry from Bush, when the evidence indicates the opposite to be true. After all, that's where I found the Steinem review, as well as those from Jonathan Alter, Froma Harrop, and others.
That's okay, I support his right to be wrong. In fact, as a veteran, I helped defend his right to be wrong. It's not the left that's "angry", it's the right that is not only angry, but spiteful, vengeful, and hateful of everything and everyone that's not exactly like them. And Palin has shown herself to be cut from the same cloth.