08 September 2008

Why the choice of Palin pushes me firmly into the Democratic Camp

A lot of my relatives are probably looking on in horror as I espouse my political opinions. Most of them are Republicans in the traditional sense. They believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, and social conservitism. I've been an Obama supporter for most of this election. With the way his campaign worked, I heard a lot more news about him than any of the other candidates (except Ron Paul, but most of the things I heard about him were how crazy his policies were). For the entirety of the primary season, I was willing to concede to McCain that he represented some sort of reform (at least within the Republican party). He was generally more moderate than the neocons, and had tried to push for smaller government and less spending. However, his choice of Palin as his running mate throws all of that out the window.

Things I don't like about Palin

  • She is branded as a reformer who moved Alaska politics away from "the Good Old Boys".

I might think this was the case if it wasn't for the blatant cronyism she demonstrated during her time as mayor and governor. She tended to completely clean house of all appointees and put new people in place who would be completely loyal to her. Many people that spoke up against her were fired.

  • She is also branded as a fiscal conservative.

In a state with budget surpluses and a huge tendancy towards earmarking, she managed to move a city from low debt, to enourmous debt during her term. The only congressional earmark that we heard of her turning down was the famous "Bridge to Nowhere" which was only turned down after much public outcry.

  • She is a blatantly cynical choice which is attempting at once to appeal to both the conservative base and women who supported Hillary Clinton.

I'm sorry McCain, the women who supported Clinton were mostly pro-choice, pro-equal pay, and pro-women's rights. As a social conservative, Palin is against all of those. That makes this aspect of her appointment hugely insulting to the intelligence of Clinton's supporters.

Otherwise, I found the speeches, especially Palin's and McCain's, hugely lacking in policy. For the most part, Palin bashed Obama, including his work as a Community Organizer. I'm sure there are many social workers and such that were offended by that. Meanwhile, McCain spent most of his speech, discussing his experience as a P.O.W. The thing is, we've all heard that story many times. Yes, its moving. John McCain wouldn't sell out to his Vietnemese captors. I wanted to know what you would do to help the country now and in the future.

There is also this weird thing with the Republicans trying to brand themselves as the party of change, ignoring the fact that they controlled both Congress and the Whitehouse for six of the last eight years. I'm sorry, you can't rally against the Man. You are the Man.

I'm not going to go into any of the other two-faced talking that has been done by people in the McCain campaign, I'll leave Jon Stewart to do that.

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