Palin the Puppet

I want Barack Obama to be President of the United States. My reasons are simple. He is thoughtful, intelligent, charismatic, young and exudes hope for a better tomorrow. His opponent, John McCain is none of these things.

On issues of policy, there’s very little of the Republican platform I can support. I agree with them about some border issues and a strong national defense. That’s about it. I agree with many parts of the Democrat’s platform including a timetable to extricate ourselves from Iraq, going after Osama bin Laden, a priority toward education, investing in technology and developing alternative energy. All of these issues are what a vast majority of Americans also want.

Mostly, and this is why McCain will lose in November, I think the last eight years under a Republican administration, with most of it under a Republican majority in the Congress, has been the worst our country has seen since the Great Depression. I’m not alone in this assertion. No matter how many times Republicans try to co-opt Obama’s symbol of change in this election, they are the ones in power. They are the ones with a president with the lowest approval rating since approval ratings existed and, so far, zero ideas presented during their convention on why we should keep going along this same path. In fact, they’ve practically ignored their sitting Commander in Chief. I wonder why?

Governor Palin had an opportunity to present not only her story, but her ticket’s story of why McCain-Palin is better than Obama-Biden. All the American people heard were belittling laughter at the role of community organizers (which was racism and classism at its finest) and other sarcastic, empty and, more often than not, false charges. Last night’s proceedings were so full of untruths, the AP had to put out a story debunking them all. It was the rhetoric of a debater who had nothing substantive to offer. By the way, even though I’m not much of a religious man, I like the line zooming around the internets, “Jesus was a Community Organizer. Pontias Pilate was a Governor.”

To be sure, there were some good zingers here and there. How could there not be? She didn’t write a word of it. The governor has above average public speaking skills, but she was simply parroting the message instead of understanding it. There was nothing in her immediate past that leads me to believe she knows what she’s talking about.

She’s a puppet… a marionette. Palin is simply an empty vessel ready to be filled with whatever hate and scare tactics the Rovian playbook dictates. She’s controllable. Soon everyone will forget she asked, on record, what exactly the vice-president does. The answer is whatever the people pulling my strings want me to do.

Last night she was no better than Ritchie Valens phonetically singing “La Bamba” and not understanding a word of spanish. The Republicans nicely managed the expectations and she delivered. Of course, she better have presented a good speech, she’d done nothing but practice it for days.

The Republican party has ceased being a party of ideas and has been hijacked by the religious right. The religious nutjobs were fired-up because they finally have a veep candidate who wants to overthrow Roe vs. Wade, stop stem cell research and teach pseudo-science in classrooms. She wants to ban books. She thinks the war in Iraq is mandated by God. Someone who abides by these positions does not get my vote.

Governor Palin sure looks good on the lot, but she hasn’t been road tested yet. Lets see her on the campaign trail answering some not so friendly questions about her qualifications and record. Obama, contrary to the former mayor of New York’s assertions, has been road tested. He successfully leads an on-going, two-year campaign for President beating by far his greatest challenge in Senator Clinton. His organization is in every state. Obama has raised more money than McCain could ever hope through technology the 72-year old doesn’t use or comprehend. Not only is the Democratic base charged up, but millions of first time voters and independents. Governor Palin did a nice job firing up the Republican base and playing to her strengths and the crowd, but I’m unconvinced she moved first time voters or independents. Of course, that isn’t her job.

Her job is to not hurt the ticket and be the attack dog. So far, I don’t see her hurting the ticket. Troopergate and the rest aren’t all that important to the average viewer unless indictments come down or some other skeleton comes out of the closet. McCain’s choice is either the greatest Hail Mary pass of VP picks or the worst possible choice ever.

More importantly for the undecided voter, she hasn’t yet debated Biden or even taken questions over a whole range of foreign and domestic policy issues. So far, she has shown no grasp of these issues. Biden will, likely, mop the floor with her during the debate.

Her prime-time speech was just shy of the incredible numbers Obama received for his speech. Mostly because nobody knew who the hell she was. As I write this, McCain hasn’t spoken yet, but I can’t help but wonder what it means if his Nielson numbers fall shorter than hers.