As I said in my previous post, I haven’t much bought into the hype of election 2008. At least, not to the extent that I had held my nose and cannon-balled into it during the 2004 presidential election. I just couldn’t attach all my hopes to a particular result, this time around, only to have those hopes dashed, and feel like the country was teetering on the edge of the abyss, come the morning after.
And, let’s face it, we are where we are as a nation (and it doesn’t look good) because we’ve had to slog through an additional four years of the hopeless Bush Administration. But whose fault is that, really? It is the Republicans’ for stealing another four years and taking full advantage of that opportunity to get us ever more deeply mired in their unbelievable quagmire of crap? Or is it the Democrats’, for not advancing a truly viable alternative four years ago?
But, coming as this election does at the close of one of the most conservative administrations this country has ever experienced—an administration during which the power of the lunatic religious fringe to change our focus and sway policy has grown exponentially—I have been convinced that we would be as likely to see a woman or a black man elected to the Presidency as we would be to see Pat Robertson appointed ambassador to Iran.
Then came the inexplicable, ice-water-in-the-face nod to Sarah Palin. I, and many other discouraged, jaded, perilously near-to-acquiescing members of the progressive electorate found ourselves spitting, mopping our faces and sputtering, “What…? Where…? Sarah Who…???” Once we were informed of exactly who this woman was and where she came from, we were speechless.
To this day, I’m not sure if Palin’s nomination was a supremely stupid move from beginning to end, or a painstakingly conceived political gamble calculated to either make or break the McCain candidacy.
The line of thinking must have gone something like this: “Ooooooh… Women really wanted Hillary Clinton. But Hillary is history…so all we need is a woman and we can rake in all those feminist votes! But…hmmmm…those Christian right wingnuts are threatening to make a stink at the convention if we go with a centrist candidate... Wait…wait… that’s IT! Sarah Palin! She’s a woman. And she stands for all the counter-feminist, backwards, war-hawking, pregnant-seventeen-year-old-who wouldn’t-even-think-about-the-“a-word” causes. Those little ladies who were so attached to Hillary Clinton…they don’t worry their pretty heads about things like policy and experience and competence and women’s issues… They just want a woman! We can kill two birds with one stone!!!
Oh. My. God.
Are we not disgusted that one of our two major political parties was so capable of misreading our history and determination as women, and our mandate as a nation, that they would come up with such an incredibly naïve, simplistic and ultimately self-serving “solution” for everything that ails us?
Are we not incensed that the GOP was so dismissive of our intellect? Of our loyalties? Of our demands?
Are we not truly frightened that the party of Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan has sunk so low that it would throw all sound judgment aside to manipulate a poor understanding of political strategy in a bid to retain what it believes is the position of ultimate power—the Leadership of the Free World?
McCain would be the oldest man elected to the presidency of this country. Did they give no thought to what might actually happen if he died in office?
President Sarah Palin?!??!!? What could they possibly have been thinking?
So, on the basis of the Sarah Palin disaster, and the recent roller-coaster of the Dow Jones, Barack Obama has crept far enough ahead in the polls to cause some pundits to declare him the ultimate victor. Now, they say, NOW he needs to try to cultivate a clear mandate.
All I can say is, if he hasn’t got that mandate by now, it’s unlikely he will. Purely…PURELY on the basis of the color of his skin, he will not be awarded the landslide a white male Democrat would now be anticipating.
And I shake my head and throw up my hands as I wonder why.