1 nation, indivisible, except by 0

9/7/08

First off, I was asked by several readers to post a link to Anne Kilkenny’s letter about Sarah Palin, since it adds more to the picture: Ms. Kilkenny was in Wasilla with Palin since the very beginning, and it’s about the most reasoned, temperate and well-written document you’ll find, should you still be sitting on the fence.

And while I’m in the mood for such temperate forbearance, I’d like to take some of the complaints about McCain/Palin and explain why they’re total bullshit. No, I haven’t gone soft – I just think the following items are fairly ludicrous:

McCain shouldn’t be President because he needs his staff to tell him how many houses he has.

It was impossible not to love this one, since it played so well into the Republican narrative, but honestly, this was meaningless. What McCain should have said was “Cindy and I have been very lucky in our investments and have a few properties that generate income for our family – Cindy generally takes care of that side of our finances, and I’ll have to get back to you about how many investments we have.”

Case closed. Sure, it makes them sound rich, but it plays more into the American Dream. Hell, we own a place we don’t live in, but the rental allows us to pay the mortgage and come back for great visits. But McCain screwed up his response and made it sound like he actually lives in seven houses and is too flush to know the frickin’ difference.

John McCain is filthy rich; but then again, so was John F. Kennedy and FDR, and they were fantastic presidents. The whole idea that our candidates have to know the price of milk – I dunno, I’ve always thought that was horseshit. I’d rather they be fixing the planet than shopping for beets at Safeway.

Sarah Palin should be taken off the Republican ticket because she used her power to fire the chief of police who wouldn’t fire her ex-brother-in-law.

At first glance, this seems like megalomaniacal bullshit from a revengeful queen, and yes, it probably was. However, the ex-brother-in-law in question is a fucking piece of work. He tasered his own 10-year-old stepson (on a dare, supposedly), was a excruciatingly rotten father who just finished his fourth marriage, threatened to kill Palin’s dad, and drank on the job.

She may have acted unethically, and she may be censured for it, but I have to say, if someone in my family behaved like that dude, I’d have to be talked out of bashing the motherfucker’s shins with a tire iron. Just sayin’.

John McCain shouldn’t be President because he’s too old.

If that’s the case, we should also take Justice John Paul Stevens off the Supreme Court, get Barney Frank out of Congress, and stop listening to my mom. In general, I’m an ageist when it comes to older people because of their seemingly-intransigent views on blacks, women and gays, but unless you’re Ronald Reagan and barely able to keep awake during war briefings, a President’s age shouldn’t matter.

The only scary part about a President McCain is the relative likelihood of his VP taking over the slot. Insert shudder emoticon.

John McCain cheated on his wife, Sarah Palin didn’t strap her baby into the car seat, she kills wolves from planes, his grin resembles a skeletal death mask, etc…

Look, any or all of these details may reveal that your candidate once was – or still is – an asshole, but none of them are dealbreakers to me. Sure, I like hearing ’em in the hopes that it contributes to their loss, but deep down, I know they are useless barometers for leading the country. Even Palin’s disheartening redneckism is anathema only to me and a few other snobs.

However, this I know: Sarah Palin wants to ban books. She wants to outlaw abortion even for rape and incest victims. She is an evangelist Pentecostal who believes Iraq is a holy war. She doesn’t believe man is responsible for global warming and wants Creationism taught in schools.

McCain is never going to get us out of Iraq and is likely to engage us in more war. He has no substantive environmental policy at a time when we have a decade to avert disaster. He has become virulently anti-choice. He has zero economic aptitude and no plan to get us out of recession other than the same tax cuts that have destroyed the middle class.

Just so we’re clear. Being a pinko, untrusting whiner, I’ll look for almost any reason to hate a Republican – but when pushed into sobriety, it’s really the simple things that remain most powerful.