Randy's Corner Deli Library

29 August 2008

Sarah Palin?

This answers the question of whether John McCain was watching the Democratic National Convention. Clearly he was so moved by the major speakers there, especially Mr. Biden, his long-time friend and Senate colleague, that he wanted to just raise the white flag then and there, and so picked the 44 year old governor of the State of Alaska, whose only other representative office to which she had been elected was as the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population 5,000. I haven't checked Google Earth to see exactly where that is as it doesn't matter.

McCain has turned this election into a referendum on Mr. Obama - solely. He is going to measure just how much people distrust a young Black man to lead their country. To the extent that Ms. Palin is a completely unknown quantity, she is truly irrelevant to the McCain campaign. She is nothing of what McCain himself has said are the qualifications to be President: not ready to lead on day one, no experience in being the leader of anything larger than a state the population of which is the size of San Bernardino, never mind commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces, and no other relevant experience that would otherwise qualify her to be President. That is, unless Mr. McCain is going to tell the country, "look, I nominated the only other person in the world older than 35 that is even less qualified to be President that Barack Obama. So vote for me."

If this is the strategy by his crack campaign staff, it will be an abysmal failure. Abysmal. I fell in love with that word - abysmal - during Joe Biden's speech Tuesday night as he described the last eight years of the Bush administration. Abysmal is the most apt word to describe the Bush administration's policies on nearly everything, that is, up until the last couple of months when it has come around to the Obama view of the world which he, Bush, categorized only last May before the Israeli Knesset as "appeasement", by talking to Iran and setting a timetable for the orderly withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Regardless of those things, Bush has left the country on the edge of an abyss from which, if McCain is elected, the country will fall into. We are not in just a ditch. We are, again, on the edge of an abyss.

Who would you rather have one heartbeat (or lack of it) away from the Presidency of the United States? A guy whose 72nd birthday is today, August 29? Who has none of the "maverick" from his 2000 campaign left in him? Who arguably still suffers from PTSD? Who has sold his soul to special interests and the Republican base (or what is left of it)? Or would you rather have Joe Biden, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who knows how to communicate broad themes as well as policy minutiae? I am confident that Sarah Palin has her good points: she is the devoted mother of a Down's Syndrome child, so she undoubtedly has the patience of Job and her heart in the right place. But Presidential timber? Not a chance.

I have to believe that Mr. McCain watched and listened to the positions of the Democrats, listened to the collective howl that went up among people who do not own 11 homes, and said to himself: "Let's see. Between me and Mitt Romney, we'll have 24 homes between us; that ain't gonna play well in Peoria, Detroit or Cleveland, where people are trying to hang on to their only homes. Mitt's probably not a good choice to keep up the charade that I've been playing to try to appear to understand what problems ordinary Americans are facing. So let's get someone whom no-one knows anything about, other than her recent election to one of our least populated states to keep the focus away from me and on Obama."

If McCain's staff is so stupid to think that angry Hillary supporters who can't get past her defeat will vote for John McCain because of the fact that they might share the same sex organ and other features as Ms. Palin, I hope that those Hillary supporters are smart enough to realize that they are being shamelessly pandered to, if indeed that is the point of this nomination.

Regardless of the point behind it, this pick dooms the McCain ticket. Even before this VP pick, I could not think of a single reason to vote for McCain as opposed to reasons not to vote for Obama. Not one. Why would anyone want John McCain, who turns 72 today, to be President at this point in American history?

As a Jew, I know that a strong America is essential to peace in the world. A strong American economy is necessary to the safety of minorities in the United States, including, sadly, Jews. We are the first ones to be gone after when economies go to hell; 2000 years of history tells me that we are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. And this economy has gone to hell. It is de rigueur to blame "the Israel lobby" for the world's ills. This is transparently anti-Semitic. If that is not your perspective, I'd suggest that you do some more reading and research to confirm for yourself that that is the case. An economically strong America is essential because strength is a necessity in this globalized, interconnected and increasingly morally and politically unstable world to ensure that the rest of the freedom-loving world, including Israel, is safe, too. Without a strong America, the rest of the world and her inhabitants suffer. Just ask the Georgians.

If America does not reassert herself economically and morally, and soon, this country will have fallen into an abyss from which there is no return. That is what is at stake in this election. Nothing less. A McCain/Palin ticket is a sick joke on the American people at a time that it needs true vision and true leadership. In my view, only the Obama/Biden ticket is worth even considering as qualified to meet the challenges that we all face.


dan said...


Posted by: Scott | August 30, 2008 1:11 AM

Not only all that, but Ms Palin has had virtually no contact with
Jewish people in America. In fact, most Alaskans still use the term
"to jew someone down" as part of their every day vocabulary when
speaking about bargaining at the store....so I guess Ms Palin has a
huge storehouse of inherited antiSemitic fixations based not on hatred
but on ignornace. Ask her what she thinks of Jewish people someone? I
am sure she only knows about 3.

Randy Shiner said...

Thanks for writing. I don't particularly care if she's ever met a Jew. The fact is that every single one of her positions (including that of no abortions and no exceptions for rape or incest)are anathema to Jewish values. I am at a loss to figure out why there is such enamor with John McCain amongst Jews in America. To me, they betray their core principles of social justice for all, repair of the world and all the rest of the values that we Jews hold dear and which are given very short shrift by Republicans generally.