Ap-palin-g

During the primaries, I was often surprised at the line of thinking that equated Barack Obama with the status quo, simply because he was not progressive enough.  Of course Obama was not progressive enough.  But now that Governor Sarah Palin–a woman who believes that Iraq is “a task from God”–has been added to the Republican ticket, perhaps we will see a little clarity on the left about what exactly is at stake in this election.

I think Sarah Vowell puts it well in her opinion piece for the New York Times:

I’m convinced that the immediate mass flip-out over the Palin nomination can’t be entirely explained by sexism, elitism or partisan animosity. It was a symptom of just how much the presidential future is a suspense movie scored by Bernard Herrmann. It’s enough of a nail-biter to throw in with a two-person ticket for four years. So if newscasters don’t even know how to pronounce the vice presidential pick’s name upon announcement, the violins of apprehension start to screech “Psycho” shower-scene loud.

The good news is that Governor Palin has sufficient experience in public life to leave behind enough of a paper trail that we can discern her positions on many of the most important issues of the day. The bad news is that after taking this crash course in where she stands, I know that if she were elected I would be afraid to leave my apartment after sundown.

During a gubernatorial debate in 2006, Governor Palin claimed that if her daughter, then 16, were impregnated as the result of being raped, Ms. Palin would hope that the girl would “choose life,” which is a polite way of saying she would expect a tenth-grader to give birth to her rapist’s baby.

Here’s a not-so-polite fact about the United States: According to Amnesty International, a woman is raped here every six minutes.

Having been successful at peddling a war in 2003 by shutting out or co-opting the media, the Republicans hope to do the same trick.  Sarah Palin has been unavailable to the press since the announcement, and any coverage of her in the press has been called “outrageous,” “over the line,” or “sexist.”  Finally this weekend, where her absence on Sunday morning talk shows was glaring, the campaign announced that she would sit down with….Charlie Gibson, the same man who was widely derided for the way in which he handled the Clinton-Obama debate.  Expect a lot of softballs for Palin, and a lot of lies.

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