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“Pit Bull” Palin Headlines Divisive GOP Campaign

4 September 2008

What’s wrong with the media? We’re about to find out. If they have the stones to stand up to a naked attempt by the McCain campaign to stop them from finding out the facts about Sarah Palin, then they’re doing their job. If not? We’ll see.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

After a daylong attack from the McCain campaign yesterday, trying to protect the fragile hot-house flower that is Sarah Palin, the lady herself gave one of the most stunningly tough, condescendingly divisive speeches we’ve heard this election season. Proudly, Pitchfork Palin compared herself to a pit bull with lipstick. This is no wilting orchid to be handled with courtly kid gloves. This is the barracuda we were told to expect by those in Alaska.

The barrage of Republican pols paraded hour after hour on daytime television decrying the vicious media for making an issue of Palin’s teenage daughter, yet a careful replay of all the tape of all the shows yesterday would reveal that the media wasn’t talking about that at all. It was the Republicans who were using those private family circumstances to trump up a case of media bias and mistreatment of the poor little lady from Alaska and her child. BULLSHIT!* You’ve got to hand it to the Republicans, though, they never miss a trick.

After this all-day distraction from the issues that face everyday Americans orchestrated by the McCain campaign, the speeches from the convention podium began to reveal the direction the Republicans will take in this important election cycle. They have retreated to the old Karl Rove get-out-the-base strategy that brought us George W. Bush two times in a row. Instead of uniting America under a single leader with a real desire to work in a bipartisan manner, they have chosen to continue the divide-and-conquer strategy: us against them. And included in “them” is the evil “left-wing” media who are daring to get, not personal family information on Palin, but real politically relevant information on where she stands on the issues.

Last night’s speakers consisted of highly successful people, three women and three men. The first two women made it clear that they believe in “tax incentives for the successful” according to Meg Whitman, former CEO of EBay, and that given enough time – until 2013 – they’ll fix the economic problems we are facing, according to Carly Fiorino, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The men, former McCain adversaries Romney, Huckabee and Giuliani, offered up mean-spirited, divisive attacks on big ideas, change that calls on the government to actually do something and then called for more free trade, not to mention a constant reminder that the radical Islamic Jihad has positioned a terrorist behind every bush just ready to strike at the heart of America. Is it just me, or is this an offer to give us four more years just like the last eight?

Of course, the ultra-conservative hall was exploding with enthusiasm after having their minds erased of the painful memories of the past eight years and waited anxiously for the appearance of the new savior of the Republican Party, Sara Get-Your-Pitchfork Palin. When she took the stage, they applauded hysterically as though Elvis had entered the room. It was somewhat embarrassing to watch a group of grown-ups, who hadn’t even heard a word uttered by the new celebrity, give her such a rousing welcome before she even opened her mouth. I guess the Kool-Aid must have been good and plentiful in the hall last night.

Then she spoke. Initially, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. I was transported back to high school, where candidates for student council president gave measured monotonous speeches to their classmates, always referring to the guy or girl on the other side as “my opponent.” I dared to take a breath and hope that we on the left had nothing to worry about, but no! Once she transferred her remarks to her family, a very different woman was on stage. Here was something she knew about and could talk about. She relaxed and found her footing. My discomfort continued as she transitioned to the McCain energy plan, such as it is. She seemed to have knowledge on the matter which lent credibility to her right to ascend to the heights of Vice-President of the United States. I was worrying.

Much to my relief, her energy “list” transformed to what the “angry right” throng had come to hear: red meat. In a smug and sarcastic manner, she launched her pit-bull attack on her “opponent” and showed her true colors. While claiming that Barack Obama didn’t care about the plight of working families in America, she joined in Giuliani’s shameful put-down of community organizers saying she didn’t exactly know what they did. In the off chance this reaches her mean-spirited eyes, let me tell her that community organizers work at great personal sacrifice to help those who have been dumped out by big business Republicans and face foreclosure, hunger and hardships the Governor of Alaska, who has been sucking on government’s tit since she got into politics, couldn’t begin to imagine. Big-city mayor Rudy Giuliani should and does know better. Shame on him!

The fact is, Pitchfork Sarah Palin and her cronies before her had not one thing to say to the many people in this country who are truly suffering in these very hard economic times. She seemed oblivious to the suffering of the constituencies she claims to care so much about. It is clear from this night of mean-spirited hate-your-neighbor rhetoric that all the Republicans want to do is gloss over the real issues of this election and rely solely on Palin’s new-found celebrity status to fool voters into giving them four more years of power in Washington. They offer no change at all.

As her record slowly flows out into the open like crude oil leaking from a pipeline on a cold Alaskan day, a picture of one who does the bidding of big business and eats at the table of big Federal earmarks and one who ignores the rules and abuses her gubernatorial power to get at an ex-in-law emerges. Lobbyists litter the landscape over at the McCain campaign, yet we are expected to believe that they are somehow going to change Washington if we only give them one more chance. It all adds up to four more years of the same. From intimidation of the press to abuse of power to looking out for the interests of big corporate America, the sum of McCain/Palin equals or exceeds the insanity of Bush/Cheney.

Somewhere up in heaven the common-sense soul of Ann Landers is looking down on America and shaking her head. She said repeatedly, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” What would she make of the notion of being fooled yet a third time? I imagine she would throw up her hands and walk away. Let’s use our common sense and see the charade in St. Paul for what it is: pure BULLSHIT!*

Keep fighting!

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