L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

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29 August 2008 Blog Home : August 2008 : Permalink

Sarah Palin for VP

So I get to join the swarm of blogospheric commentary. Since I've bearly heard of the lady (except as a possible VP pick) my commentary here is going to be based on what I read elsewhere. First off Ginmar (a Clinton supporter) writes some words of truth:

What [McCain's messages of support for Clinton] do is point out what Obama hasn't been doing. The things he's said about Clinton that are supposed to be compliments have been vague, forced, and patronizing. McCain's, while clearly motivated by wedge-driving, have struck the right tone. Palin's more of the same.

Ginmar thinks some republicans won't be able to stand voting for a woman but she notes that the result of this election will definitely break the "white male" monopoly on power in the USA no matter who wins. In a subsequent post she also links to another feminist who has started to track Democrat sexist smears on Governor Palin. I may disagree with feminists like these in policy prescriptions but I admire them too for having the umm overies to write things like this:

For the record, there is plenty about which to criticize Palin that has absolutely fuck-all to do with her sex. She's anti-choice, against marriage equality, pro-death penalty, pro-guns, and loves Big Business. (In other words, she's a Republican.) There's no goddamned reason to criticize her for anything but her policies.

And I'll go ahead and put it right in the fucking inaugural post in this series: I will defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because I like or support her, but because that's how feminism works.

Riffing of that post where Palin is summed up as "anti-choice, against marriage equality, pro-death penalty, pro-guns, and loves Big Business" I can see how much of this will appeal to all sorts of republicans and independents. McCain has been rather less clearly pro-gun, pro-death penalty and anti-choice which are the sorts of things that will tend to appeal to conservatives of any number of stripes. Gay marriage is a wash, I doubt many in favour of that would vote republican anyway. Big Business loving is interesting because the Instapundit points out that she's been pretty anti-pork and that is certainly an issue that helps with some including this correspondant:

As a conservative, disenfranchised from the Republican party due to their pork barrel spending, I find myself excited at the prospect of Sarah Palin as VP. Her stands against corruption, her focus on fixing issues affecting America, instead of political manuevers to gain and hold power for power's sake, make me excited to vote for her.

Interestingly the Powerline bloggers are less impressed citing her lack of experience and worried that she's just there to play identity politics. On the other hand Beldar is all in favour and Hugh Hewitt seems reasonably happy as well. Intriguingly I've seen pointed out in a number of places what HH points out:

When the Dems come after Palin for inexperience in foreign affairs, the reply will be obvious --the GOP vice-presidential nominee is as experienced as the Democratic presidential nominee but also has executive decision-making that Obama lacks.  

Indeed I'll go further, as the only US state to be bordered by two nations (Canada and Russia), she's been involved in foreign affairs on a practical day to day level like very few recent presidents and between them, she and McCain cover all three of the USA's naighbours.

It could be a "Hail Mary" pick like Geraldine Ferraro 24 years ago, but it could also be inspired if Governor Palin is as tough and clever politician as Beldar seems to think. One thing seems sure. Unlike Ferraro, Palin is unlikely to have a husband with tax problems beyond the usual ones of how to pay them. Indeed with Palin the republican ticket can make a far better case of being reformers from outside than the democrats can.