Thursday, September 04, 2008
Bob McElvaine on double-reverse Republican affirmative actionBob continues his theme from his comparison of Clarence Thomas and White Princess Sarah Palin, talking about how the Republicans are using a double-reverse strategy of picking a woman who essentially opposes any and all legislation that addresses the concerns of the majority of women, from education to abortion and from war to global climate change. Then they huff and puff about the "sexism" of anyone who challenges her on anything. Just as Clarence Thomas was an extreme conservative and a mediocre-at-best judge, so Palin is a hardline Christianist and neo-Confederate with a resume that is large part fantasy, i.e., her fictional thanks-but-no-thanks on the "bridge to nowhere". (Joe Garofoli has a decent piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, GOP casts Palin as victim of media 'pile-on' 09/04/08, on the GOP strategy of using the White Princess as a way to "work the refs" with the national press.)
Clarence Thomas has been voting his far-right interpretation of the Constitution for decades now, and may well be doing so for decades to come. In 2000, pretty much everyone including me thought Dick Cheney was a bland but competent conservative when he was running for Republican Vice President.
Gone Old Party's Welfare Queen by Robert S. McElvaine
Let's cut all the Gone Old Party's nonsense about Sarah Palin having as much experience as--or, some have the audacity of dope to say, MORE experience than--Barack Obama.
And let's also cut all the Gone Old Party's nonsense about criticism of John McCain's choice having anything to do with her being a woman. That has it exactly backwards:
If Sarah Palin were Abraham Palin, there is zero chance that Sen. McCain would have chosen him. (The GOP's opposition to affirmative action has apparently also been jettisoned, although in this case the action was designed to affirm McCain's chances of winning the election.) But if he did select a male with Gov. Palin's background, exactly the same criticism of the choice would apply.
Leaving aside PTA president vs. community organizer, living in the closest state to Russia as foreign policy experience and such, let's use traditional Republican values to tell the undeniable truth about the huge difference between how the two nominees got where they are today.
Eighteen Million to One
Sen. Obama went through nearly two years of grueling, sometimes vicious, campaigning, running one of the most impressive political organizations ever seen, and got his nomination because more than 18 million Americans decided he deserves to be president.
Gov. Palin went through one day of vetting and two meetings with John McCain and got her nomination because one American decided he needed a female from the "Religious Right" on his ticket.
Barack Obama got his nomination the old-fashioned way: He EARNED it.
Sarah Palin, in stark contrast, had her nomination given to her, after having passed no tests whatsoever with voters and the media around the nation. It was a handout from Sen. McCain.
Kind of like a political version of Ronald Reagan's mythical welfare queen.
[Historian Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College. His latest book is Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America.]
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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