Jeff Koopersmith on Sarah Palin – and John McCain, who has proved to the world that he's off his rocker while CNN pretends Palin was a "sly move." (Click on the cover for an enlargement.)
UPDATED: APJ publisher Gene Gaudette weighs in on an explosive development that further suggests Palin was never vetted by McCain.
September 1, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Like many of you, I sat in my office waiting for John McCain's vice presidential announcement.
All I knew early that morning was that the CNN goons got it wrong.
It seemed like McCain might have at least some choices among the glitterati of the American political world. At somewhere near 10am on Friday morning, I heard that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had jumped into a Gulfstream private jet and was making her way to Ohio with her irresponsibly huge family in tow.
That was enough for me to know that McCain had, for some strange reason, chosen a young woman who is currently under investigation (albeit along with every other Republican politico in Alaska) for misusing her office.
In Alaska, this crime is probably not indictable, and perhaps she isn't guilty of using the power of the governorship to make sure her sister's ex-husband was fired from the police force where he held a significant position and was at the time locked in battle over custody of the sister's children.
Let that one slide.
That leaves us with a beautiful 44-year-old woman, now the governor of the one of the least important places on earth, running a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. The choiceseems almost nonsensical when you consider the "reported" also-rans that McCain had to pick from:
- Elizabeth Dole – Empress of Washington Republicans
- Haley Barbour – Governor of Mississippi and past GOP Chair.
- Marsha Blackburn – Wacky politico whose views are to the right of Hitler, but a woman nonetheless
- Charlie Crist – Moderate governor of Florida, maybe too moderate for McCain; he's only been governor for two years… but so has Palin
- Rudy Giuliani – Former mayor of New York and swing state hero
- Mike Huckabee – Weirdo evangelical; perfect for McCain; maybe his prayers and close personal relationship with Jehovah will extend McCain's life
- Duncan Hunter – Radical moron; even McCain loathes him
- Kay Bailey Hutchison – Would have been my choice, but I am sure she said to McCain, "Are you nuts?"
- Joe Lieberman – McCain liked him, but face it – running with Joe would be like tapping Brutus to guard Caesar
- Tim Pawlenty – Governor of Minnesota, a key swing state, like Alaska
- Colin Powell – Another high-profile Republican who likely told McCain to take a hike; may vote for Obama out of remorse for lying to the UN as George Bush Jr.'s mouthpiece
- Condi Rice – Even McCain has better taste and needs someone smart, not just a doctrinaire Hoover Institute poseur
- Tom Ridge – Tom is getting (and looking) a little old, no longer looks lie George "Superman" Reeves
- Mitt Romney – His nicname among fellow republicans was "Governor Rod-up-his-butt"; even McCain couldn't stand him; former Bain Capital money-monger who steals from the poor
- Mark Sanford – Governor of South Carolina; would have helped McCain in the South with those rednecks who think he is a commie
- Fred Thompson – Celebrity; played Rudy Giuliani on NBC's "Law and Order: Truancy SWAT Squad"; a former senator (thanfully)
- John Thune – Too emaciated; looks like a blonde vampire male version of Ann Coulter (or Cindy McCain)
- JC Watts – A good debater, but he gets paid more money as a cable news pundit and consultant, and would have said no to McCain
- Christine Todd Whitman – She would have been a great choice, as far as I am concerned, but was likely too moderate – and too independent-minded – for McCain.
- Generals David Petraeus and Tommy Franks – Both a bit too reminiscent of Gen. Jack T. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove, but these guys at least HAVE real experience in the field, not in a rat-infested POW cell
So, one is forced to ask the key question: can we rely on McCain's intelligence?
McCain picked the weakest of the weak candidates, a short-time governor of a nothing state who got elected because she was "hawt." And if you do not believe me, Google "Palin hot." You'll get more than a thousand hits on that search – all from the nuts who live in Alaska.
My only conclusion: every one on McCain's Veep list said "No" to him. They didn't want to be an also-ran on his losing ticket.
If you don't accept that theory, the only one that makes a prima facie case suitable for a conviction, then you're living in Baghdad.
However, why not choose someone so far in ultra-right field that even a fly ball wouldn't reach her? Why not pick a woman who is so pro-"life" that she has forced her fifth child into a life of heartache – the poor victim of Down's Syndrome because Jesus told her to do so? That's admirable. You might think this is harsh, but Palin knew her fetus had Down's. She seems not to give a thought about the future of the child. Sure, the child might have the best possible babyhood, but then what? Where will the child go to school? Who will take care of him? Who will take the mantle of responsibility when Sarah and her husband pass away? Perhaps one of the other four children – one of whom who is being off to fight in Iraq – will feed him, change his adult diapers, and punch out anyone who makes fun of him. The baby was on the stage Friday with McCain, his wife, and the Palin family. He didn't stir – at all – not even with the phony screaming and applause, the loud rock music and the thousands of camera flashes. He was "asleep," sound as a bug in a rug.
Why not choose a candidate whose only prior claims to fame was that she was a Miss Alaska contestant and lost the state competition to some other floozie posing as the "All-American Girl"? Why not have the Vice Presidential mansion at the Naval Observatory cared for by her part time oil field worker and fisherman hubby?
This is America – anything can happen. Anything can happen to anybody.
Another plus is that Sarah Palin is a "Lifetime Member" of the National Rifle Association, and stopped a ban on shooting polar bears. I guess she likes polar bear fritters.
Palin also said, just this past Friday, that she wants no money from congressional earmarks Hmmm. That's funny – her office has requested nearly a billion dollars from the tiny congressional delegation in Alaska, so I think you might call her a fibber – or an outright liar.
Let's talk about the famous "Bridge to Nowhere" that she claims to have "killed."
She traveled every year, as the part-time mayor of a small city called Wasilla, to beg for earmarks and more pork from Congress – and sat on the "earmark" laps of indicted Senator Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young.
She told more than one reporter that these junkets were about face-to-face meetings with people actually "writing the budget." Now neither Stevens nor Young wrote the budget – but they sure like earmarks! Palin also hired lobbyists – lobbyists for this ridiculously small town.
When asked about the now-infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," she in fact said “I do support the infrastructure projects that are on tap here in the State of Alaska that our Congressional delegations worked hard for” when she had been asked about that bridge (and another) in an October 2006 television debate while campaigning for governor. I saw it.
Later she claimed support not only for the "Bridge to Nowhere" but another bridge project “The window is now — while our Congressional delegata*1.4sion is in a strong position to assist.” I guess she meant before Senator Stevens went to the hoosegow, with Mr. Young close on his heels, although Young's corruption charges are not related – at least not yet.
Earmarks are close to sacrosanct in Alaska, which routinely reaps more money per resident for such projects than any other state because of the seniority and aggressiveness of the scandal-plagued duo of Stevens and Young.
Then, after supporting as much pork as she could get (which is arguably something politicians should do for their constituents) and supporting the "Bridge to Nowhere" and anything else the feds could fund, she was elected Governor in 2006. Last year in early autumn, Palin claimed that the Bridge to Nowhere was "nowhere" because "Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island.”
But I've saved the best for last: she was able to wangle keeping the money and funded other projects – most likely projects to nowhere.
Therefore, although she's "hawt," she's also someone who will lie about anything to get where she wants to go, This may be an Alaskan trait to be proud of – the stuff of ballads – but it won't wash as the woman next in line for the Oval Office.
She's a liar – plain and simple.
UPDATE: Lying Isn't Palin's Only Problem
September 1, 2008 – New York (apj.us) – It's beginning to look as if Palin's habit of telling blatant lies isn't her only political problem.
MSNBC's Mark Murray is reporting on the First Read blog that the 17-year-old daughter of "family values", "Intelligent Design" shilling, stealth-Dominionist, Evangelical "dog-whistling" Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant and out of wedlock.
And there's speculation that this might not be her first pregnancy.
This revelation – arguably the most explosive and damaging to emerge since McCain announced his choice of Palin as his running mate – can only lead one to conclude that McCain and his team didn't make any serious effort to vet his Veep choice.
UPDATE 2: Palin Was Vetted…
… not by McCain or his campaign managers but by the shadowy Dominionist, anti-Constitution cabal known as the Council for National Policy.
— Gene Gaudette
UPDATE 3: Hat tip to Michael Collins for posting a link to this article at DemocraticUnderground.com. We were especially impressed with the comment of DUser "puebloknot":
There is so much smoke here, there has to be a major conflagration just waiting to be discovered.
Obama is taking the high road, and rightly so, in telling people to lay off of the young daughter. She's a pawn in this whole thing, and undeservedly so. But it is We the People's business if this woman has lied about her own pregnancy (or lack thereof), and it is the height of hypocrisy for McCain to put this woman out there just to attract the lowest of the low in this country, the religious fanatics who have been behind most every outrage we've seen since 2000 and the introduction of "faith-based" bullshit ('scuse the French)! McCain is channeling one R. Reagan in his insistence that character should reside in the White House. (Strength of character, Mr. McCain, not "a character"!)
The deviousness and hypocrisy over one or more pregnancies is small potatoes, however, when compared to the fact that this woman is currently under investigation for ethics/abuse of power issues at the micro level, and is now being touted as someone we can trust at the macro level to steer our Ship of State through extremely murky waters. Even if McCain lived out his term, do we want this bimbo to represent us to the likes of heads of state all over the globe? We are a laughing stock that this has even been able to rise to the level of anything but a major hoax.
And should McCain meet his maker, and should Mrs. Palin make it to the winner's circle, who does she bring with her? A husband who has on his record a DUI arrest! Can we honestly contemplate the horror of having this country sink to such a level that the cast of Mayberry (apologies to that cast) has come to live in the seat of power of the most powerful country in the world? Well, yes, we can contemplate it. We've had a Resident for almost eight years with a similar record — only more egregious because it not only involves substance abuse, but being AWOL from his military duties during the Vietnam War. We don't need more of the same.
We all need to wake up to the degree that the religious right really is determined to insert themselves wherever they can find a crack in the face of democracy in this country. Even as we've seen our constitution and our laws shat upon over the last eight years, there has remained among progressives something of a shrug of the shoulders, a "this, too, shall pass" feeling about these religious wackos. Who, in their right mind, can take them seriously? Well, we have to consider that they are not in anything that resembles a "right" mind, and they hatch plots with every breath we draw to impose their insane worldview on the rest of us. Sarah Palin is the penultimate example of ignorance triumphing over integrity.
Sarah Palin doesn't just want to crow about how righteous her daughter is (after being unrighteous in a major way, according to Sarah's standards), but she wants to limit the choices of all other women (and the men who love them, or who don't love them and leave them in the lurch) to those her daughter now has to select from.
No, we don't ridicule Sarah's daughter. She has sorrow enough in her life. But we do shine the light on the truth about Sarah Palin and all her endeavors — public, professional, and private, insofar as they reflect on the kind of influence her absurd ascendance to great power would have on this country.
Kudos to Obama for his kindness and humanity and his intention to stick to the high road. But a reminder to him and to all of us from his acceptance speech: ENOUGH!!!!!!!
I have allowed myself to indulge in the "gloat factor" for a short time – considering that this choice just means that McCain is toast. Would that it were so! We are facing, as a country, and more than ever before, a great owning up in this coming election to what we are as a nation. If, through means other than honestly electoral, McCain takes the Oval Office and brings with him the lame, the halt, and the blind – politically and intellectually and morally speaking — then we must wonder whether we shall ever again see the country we have loved.
If, indeed, everyone but Sarah Palin has turned down the VP offer from McCain, that should give us gleeful hope. But few of us would have considered in the waning months of 1999 that Selection 2000 could possibly happen HERE! I shudder to think it, but this joke could be on us.
We also got a chuckle from this title to a reply to the original post:
Sure looks like it…
– Mike Harwood
Jeff Koopersmith is an internationally renowned political consultant, opinion research authority and policy analyst. He has lobbied for causes including the alternative fuel sector and women's health, and is an expert on the international real estate market. He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.