Blog Closed

This blog has moved to Github. This page will not be updated and is not open for comments. Please go to the new site for updated content.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain's Veep

I normally try not to talk about politics here on my blog, but my sense of cynicism superceeds any political beliefs I may harbor.

I think McCain's choice in VP, Sarah Palin, is a big mistake. This is for a few reasons:
  1. Longevity. I don't mean to be morbid or anything, but seriously: John McCain is old and in non-optimal health. You may claim he's in "Great health", but "great" is relative to age. Great health for a 72 year old man is far different from great health in a 40 year old man. His odds of being incapacitated due to age-related health issues or his reoccuring skin cancer, indicate that whoever he chooses to be his VP is more likely then normal to be president within a 4 year term. This is the reality of the human condition, and it's irresponsible to blindly assume that McCain will make it through a 4-year term on his feet at this point.
  2. Hypocracy. The republican's most common attack so far has been directed at Obama's inexperience. Now, McCain has picked a VP with far less experience. At the very least, the Republicans lose this important attack vector. At the worst, the direction of attack is reversed because now the Democrats can attack the low experience level of Governor Palin.
  3. Pandering. Tell me that this doesn't smack of pandering? John McCain is trying to attract disenfranchised HRC supporters, so he picks a woman running mate. This rings of the failed "Anybody but Bush" compaign from 4 years ago: If you're willing to vote for anybody, it's hard to rally behind anyone. Palin is exactly what McCain thought he needed: any woman. So what he gets is just any woman. I think it's disrespectful, and I hope intellegent women throughout this country see that.
  4. Palin was selected to tow the party line: Anti-abortion, pro drilling in alaska for oil. In fact, in days of hearing her analyzed on the news, I have no idea what else she believes in. What McCain wants to say is "Look, I've found an alaskan who agrees with drilling in alaska", or "I've found a woman who is pro-life". It's as if finding one counterexample proves his point. It's telling just how deep he had to look to find a person who fit the bill. I doubt her's is the majority opinion among Alaskans (in terms of drilling) or women (in terms of abortion).
I'm not all lovey-dovey about Obama either, and maybe I'll level some criticisms in his direction a little later. What people need to really think about is this: because of his age, the probability is good that if McCain is elected, Palin will be president within the 4 year term. With that in mind, we need to think about whether she was selected because she would make a good president, or whether she was selected as some kind of token woman so McCain could pander to both women and the conservative right. I'm not sure that we need a president who's only value is being able to pander to very specific groups of voters. In fact, I'm sure we need somebody better.

Correction: I erroneously put that McCain was 82 earlier. This was an arithmetic error on my part. McCain is 72.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.