When I first saw that Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's VP, I immediately thought that he was just choosing her to appeal to Hillary's women, even though their policies are basically completely opposite. So I figured that night about I would blog about that, but then I started reading all the blogs and news articles on her, and I figured I'd read more before blogging. Well, the articles never stopped. Sarah Palin has been mentioned in almost every blog I read regularly, and it seems that every hour something new is unveiled about her. Even though I am usually consistent in posting links to articles I have read, since there were so many on her I can't remember all the links. So, I'll just summarize what has been going on in the Internets:
Andrew Sullivan has been going crazy, certain that McCain did not properly vet her. Feministing hasn't stopped listing her anti-women policies. She has slashed funding for programs that help teen moms, something that has been pointed out now that her teenage daughter is pregnant. Oh, yeah, and if you haven't heard, her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. The father is a guy who described himself as a "fucking redneck" on his Myspace page, before it was taken down. Palin has been involved in something called "Trooper-gate" and either does or doesn't support some bridge that doesn't go anywhere. Her kids all have weird names, Palin is very much anti-abortion, and when she found out her youngest son had Down syndrome, she decided to have him anyway (which implys that she had a "choice," which she believes women don't have...but I'll get to that in a minute). She may or may not have had some type of deals with government officials who deal with "pork barrel" things and "earmarks," which I think McCain really hates. Oh, and also, her and her husband were members of a political party that in the past has seeked a vote for seccession from the United States. Her church also may support Jews for Jesus, or have had some type of lecture recently about Jews being killed in the Holocaust being their punishment for not believing in Jesus.
Now of course, the million dollar questions is if McCain had any freakin clue that she took part in any of these things before vetting her, because if he did, then what the crap was he thinking?
I have read articles on Palin and McCains choice on Andrew's blog, Slate, Jezebel, WaPo, Feministing, the many NYT articles, both of Maureen Dowd's columns on her, and some other NYT columns about Palin. It's a blogosphere shit storm, basically. But what I found the most interesting was what Rebecca Traister, one of my favorite Salon writers, wrote about the pregnancy of her daughter:
Of course, there are indeed some very real, very serious issues raised by the revelation of Bristol Palin's pregnancy...The first, and most serious issue raised by today's official story is that the language used in the public statement about Bristol is at odds with the McCain-Palin line on reproductive rights. According to the New York Times story, "Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said." That's just peachy in its presumption that Bristol had a choice about whether or not to continue her pregnancy. It's true that in 2008, she certainly does have a legal choice. But she wouldn't under the proposed administration of her mother and John McCain, both of whom oppose abortion rights and tell us they would work to overturn Roe.
Palin has used pro-choice language to describe her daughter's pregnancy, saying that she has decided to carry the baby to term. But according to McCain and Palin's beliefts, women don't have that choice.
In the news release, the McCain campaign made sure to state that:Palin is everywhere, and I'm interested to see how this will play out.Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.
While it's obvious why they made this statement to assure the public that Bristol was not coerced into keeping the baby (after all, she does have a parent who is a staunch opponent of the right to choose and is currently on the Republican presidential ticket), as my significant other pointed out, there's some serious hypocrisy at play here. I mean, John McCain and Sarah Palin don't believe women have a right to choose. It's absolutely absurd for the campaign to emphasize the fact that Bristol "made this decision," and then push for policies that take away that choice.In reality, Bristol's actual "choice" was probably not whether to terminate the pregnancy or carry it to term, but whether raise the child herself or put it up for adoption. But the reason that the McCain campaign chose to emphasize Bristol's agency in this decision was to reassure the public that this pregnancy is not coercive. They know the public wants to feel secure in the knowledge that it was Bristol's choice to keep the pregnancy. And coming from the McCain campaign, which opposes a woman's right to choose, that statement is disgusting.