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What’s The Matter With Sarah Palin? September 3, 2008

Posted by Kate Ryan in National Politics, Republicans, Women's Issues.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I am an Obama supporter.  I started this political season voting for John Edwards in the primary; when he dropped out, I changed my allegiance to Obama.  I never once considered voting for Hillary Clinton.

That decision might puzzle a lot of women who know me.  I am an ardent supporter of women’s issues, choice, and the plight of the working poor – all issues that supposedly resonate with Hillary supporters.  I am, however, more than my vagina, and I resent the implication that I should vote for a woman because we are women.  I like Hillary well enough, but it is very important to me to see a Democrat in the White House, and I believe her negatives were just too high with the American people.

I should also disclose that I am a recovering Republican.  I voted for President for the first time in 1984 – for Ronald Reagan – and continued all the way up to 2004 when I registered as a Democrat and voted for John Kerry.  Why?  Because I did not like where my party had gone.  It was hijacked by intolerant bigots on the right and became hostile to anyone more moderate.  Because I opposed the war in Iraq, my party branded me as unpatriotic.  Worst of all, the people I thought could be entrusted to run my country filled it with incompetents and theives.  The Republican Party left me – and I haven’t looked back since.

Which brings me to Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential nominee and Governor of Alaska.  The media talking heads were agog last Friday that Palin was an answer to “disaffected” Clinton voters.  Get real.  Nobody who seriously supported Hillary Clinton could support this woman.  Her views are so extremely right-wing and antithetical to everything Mrs. Clinton stands for that it would be ridiculous to believe she would peel off these voters.  Then, I heard that she was brought on the ticket to bring in suburban women, “soccer moms”, to whom national security is more important than choice.  I can’t believe that either.  I think anyone seriously interested in national security would faint at the thought of her stepping in should anything happen to John McCain.

So why Sarah Palin?  It is obvious that she was chosen to whip up the conservative base of the Republican Party.  These God-fearing, gun-toting, red-meat “patriots” were only mouthing support for McCain and seemed to be really bored and tired.  Then Sarah was selected and they are fired up!  Here they have a rootin-tootin, Annie Oakley Christian conservative, mom-of-five, gay-hating, anti-choice woman – with a capital “W”.  Take that, Democrats!  Knowing that they are failing to win this election on economics, national security, or energy independence, the McCain camp has reached deep into the Karl Rove bag of tricks to turn this election into another “values” election.

When will we stop allowing ourselves to be fooled?

The values I hold as a nominally Roman Catholic agnostic seem to be more Christan than the Christian right’s.  I want to feed the hungry, clothe and house the poor, provide health care to those without, and to see peace in the world.  That’s the Chritianity I was taught.  I don’t recognize the mean-spirited Christianity of the right. Sarah Palin might be a woman like I am and a mother like I am, but she is NOT like me.  Not at all.



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