Palin: A Dangerous and Intelligent Choice
I hope you can forgive me, despite my undeserving nature, for some unspecific and overly personal posting of late. I'm going to try to correct that, and here I'll start.
Resolved: Palin was a hit out of the park sort of choice for McCain and his team.
Why do I say this? I have many reasons, and I'm perversely glad and disturbed by his choice. Lemme share some reasons and links which may help you understand.
Palin in the eyes of one gardeners' community. You'll laugh, cry and hurl as you read it, but hopefully, also learn something of why I was nonspecifically asking recently for less groupthink in PB2.0. Sometimes, I fear we all forget that there are many people in America who think about politics, but so very few who think as we do. This is not the only thread I've read about Palin that is very different from the ones I've read in my usual daily travels.
Stepping back a bit and being imaginative: is Palin a good choice? Here's why I think the answer is "yes."
1. I'm rude and blunt so I'll just say it: the Down's Syndrome kid makes her look like the 'real deal' sort of anti-choice "pro-life feminist." Nevermind if her "5th" child was in fact her daughter's. That part will never get out beyond the blogosphere. The Down's Syndrome child will, and already has. I've spent a lot of time with moms of late, younger moms as well as the older kind. They respect someone willing to prove her mettle in this way, even as they have little or no interest in being forced to do so themselves. Don't underestimate that, esp with the less critical and church-going. And there's a huge, underreported 'bleeding heart' streak in younger social conservatives. Palin can be easily constructed as 'one who walks the walk, as well as talks the talk' to them, and that's powerful.
2. She's pretty. Which is great! Finally, an attractive Republican! Should this make a difference to voters? Of course not. Will it? You'd be silly if you didn't think it would. America's #1 religion is pretty celebrity. I don't like that, but it's true. Just as HRC was slammed by sexists for not being a willowly 20something (as if that mattered, but in the subliminal discourse, you could feel it was there); and just as Obama is feared/loved/hated because he is 'attractive' in his biracial difference; and just as Senator Hairplug from MBNA is not virile and strong-looking, Palin is exactly what wignuts and mushy, teevee-addicted middler voters can respond to. I expect a lot of shots of Palin to flood the teevee airwaves, and that people will unconsciously respond to that. Our consumerist culture is built upon that sort of response; a pretty woman/girl is used to sell almost anything. Again, it shouldn't be so, but if it didn't work, they wouldn't put so many pretty people next to products that sell.
3. Palin's false narrative as a "new" and "reformer" Republican will stick. Despite the trailer-trash dramarama that seems to be part of her family history. The SCLM will pounce on, and magnify, her 'record' of "taking on Stevens" and "beating back the AK establishment." For the less informed, that will work. Republicans and "independents" understand, at least instinctively, that there is a real need to clean out Bush regime cronies who are killing all of us who make less than 5million/yr. Palin is the perfect offering to those people.
4. PUMAs. I'll let you all fight about how 'real' or dangerous she is in this regard. I will say: real or false, the PUMA construct is one that has been squarely set into this year's election narrative. Even those who are not, in truth, 'pure' PUMAs like some here, will at least consider Palin as the correct response/revenge vote for their disappointed hopes for HRC. Remember, there are lots and lots of people who don't actually think about their political loyalties, and who are more or less given direction from the SCLM. Some of these people will see Palin as a valid alternative, despite the fact that she's 180degrees different from HRC and her voting record.
5. Palin is young. McCain's people have likely realized: there aren't really enough oldsters and racists to make up a majority of voters for McCain all by himself; he needs some "youth" to counter his "experience." He may seem a "maverick" to the older and/or uninformed, but she typifies that in truth. At least within the narrative given to most by the SCLM. And what could better prove his own 'maverickiness' than picking a younger woman, almost sight-unseen, going against what Rove and his party's establishment have been telling him for months and years?
6. She's a perfect example of the mythology of the "new, caring" oil industry maven. She's got a speaking record of talking about how AK needs to be "independent" of the federal tit (hah, like that will ever happen), and at the same time, she is able to articulate a "fresh" story about how she is one with the strangely popular Pickens, and others like him who are selling us all this "drill, drill, drill!" crap, or the clean coal bullshit. I am just waiting for her to say: "I understand better than anyone how to bring your gas prices down, and that's with more drilling!" Here in the Midwest, where people are unfamiliar with the realities of oil production, I perceive that it could work, and she could be presented to the public as an informed 'expert' in how to reduce energy costs to the public. Of course people like us won't buy it, but many will.
7. Stay Away from the Beauty Queen attack. I really mean this. For many reasons, it's a loser. In the most base sense, I'll remind you that people do in fact, love Beauty Queens. Also, she's smarter than that, and has already proven she understands how to manipulate her opponents, who think to attack her this way thinking that she won't have the brain-power to respond. She does, and she will. Also, there's that whole winger thing of pretending to care about women who are being 'attacked' for being women; they do it (sadly) better than many on our side do. While we should recognize that her looks will play a role in the election, we should be very careful to treat her as a corrupt, Republican politician, and nothing about her gender or appearance. Short version: wingers long for and follow with religious conviction, their "Joan of Arcs." Palin could be one.
I'm sure I've missed a lot about her; she's new to me and a surprise.
More than anything else, she is a clear warning: someone in the McCain campaing has a brain. Bigger than Rove's, bigger than McCain's. Fear that, if you long for Democratic victory this fall.