Saturday, August 30, 2008


O.k. I admit it. I watched the whole convention last week. And I caught the R's introductory press conference on Friday. And, of course, I have my own opinions about all of it, but just a couple that I feel compelled to offer as discussion points.
First, the Palin selection. Initially, I saw this move as just another Harriet Miers - selected for the double xx chromosomes rather than skill and ability. But she does have a few years of experience and a couple of attractive qualifications, such as, pushing for political reform and a spouse who was/is(?) a union member. Still, her limited experiences (like lowering property taxes) are not as impressive as Obama's. Also, she may be a woman, but biology doesn't make her an advocate for women. (And someone should tell her that she is running for vice-president; that was a little unclear in her speech last Friday. When referring to Clinton's "18 million cracks," she inferred that her nomination would finally break the glass ceiling which it won't - even if the ticket is elected and even if she becomes president. She would have to be elected president to break that one.)

Speaking of elections that break with the past brings me to my second point: the Obama nomination. I'm suffering from "history" fatigue, especially of the "never in my lifetime" variety. While I am pleased by the results, I don't find myself dazed and over-joyed at this (admittedly) historic moment. How surprising is it that he got the nomination? Consider the mythic proportions that King and CRM have acquired in our popular imaginations. And the affiliations that white Americans - and white Democrats, in particular - envision between themselves and that movement/person. Is it really all that surprising? The event that would really bowl me over is having him win. Electing him president would, to my mind, represent a significant break with the past and a real, monumental achievement. I am bit concerned that Dem's are settling for this (comparatively) lesser achievement rather than the big one out of an unexpressed fear that they'll lose another general election. And this is a frightening possibility. In fact, I'm so concerned that I am going to do something that I've never done before - encourage all my friends in blue states* to squeeze your budget and donate to his campaign.

*'Cause if you're in a purple state, you could go out and campaign in person!


Cabiria said...

Palin just outright offends me. I think my level of dislike for her selection may be unhealthy, but it ticks me off precisely because it is the most sexist thing to be done in a year of uber-sexist campaign and media displays. When you get to do something sexist and call it "pro-woman" or whatever term Republicans are using, I start seeing red. And I agree with you, I worry about the actual election part of this process, the nomination is way too hyped.

Rachel said...

I thought Sam Bee's bit on this selection on the daily show was SO PERFECT. sometimes, she's over the top, but this time, it was exactly spot on. "but she's her gynecological twin" - perfect. :) if you didn't catch it, it's on the website.

If I were still a conservative Christian, her selection would offend me too. She's nowhere near qualified, she was chosen because of the kind of person she is, not because she'd do a good job. If I were a conservative protestant woman, I would be offended that McCain was so blatantly trying to grab my vote.