Friday, September 05, 2008

The Sarah Palin Nomination

I suppose I will keep with the political theme here since that is what I have been mentally dwelling on the last few months. My main goal is to develop a robust Biblical approach to viewing civil government, the current election, and the state of the American Union. Perhaps in coming days I will post on a Christian theory of government proper, thus far I have just been giving commentary, and more developed exposition of a Biblical outline of government is needed.

At anyrate I wanted to put out my brief comments on the nomination of Sarah Palin as vice president on the McCain ticket. I do this since the news (of all brands) is incessantly talking about Palin, either glowingly or critically. I write also because Palin's nomination represents what I see as the snookering of evangelicals into endorsing a the candidacy of McCain, who they previously viewed (for the most part) with suspicion if not outright distrust and disdain.

I need to be clear up front, I like Sarah Palin. I really do, she appears to be a genuine political representative truly attempting to serve the people who elected her. She is untainted from the sin of adultery to the special interests and avarice, unlike the majority of officials in Washington. She truly acted as a reformer in Alaska, not only speaks pro-life but actually lives it, and has expressed affinity to other genuine political reformers such as Ron Paul.

So, I like Mrs. Palin.

However, I think that is precisely why she has been chosen. She is likable in the eyes of the usually conservative base. She has been chosen not because she will actually do anything, but because she is likable and will draw in voters who otherwise felt ignored thus far. Those voters are 1.Evangelicals, 2.Feminists, and 3.Limited government conservatives.

Simply put, the election of Sarah Palin is purely strategic.


The media has to a degree highlighted the feminist vote grab aspect of the Palin pick. Some commentators assert that Hillary supporters will remain democrat and they supported Hillary not because she was a woman but because of her policies. I think these commentators overlook how superficial the electorate really is. After watching both major party conventions one exercising critical thinking will notice that on "both sides of the aisle" there is nothing but substance bereft platitudes and promises of better times.

The amazing part is that the electorate gets excited about these sweeping statements. I find that this to be indicative more of the state of the electorate rather than the shallowness of our politicians. We get smarmy politicians who have more lies than voters because we as an electorate

So, I say yes, disgruntled feminists will switch from Hillary to Palin simply because Palin wears panties rather than briefs. That's the matter of fact superficiality that exists in the electorate, this was known and is a reason for the Palin nomination by the McCain coaches.


Furthermore, many evangelicals have felt slighted in this election as they couldn't get loud God-word wielding Huckabee as the nominee. Listening to Christian political radio I had in previous months noticed a good bit of angst about who the evangelicals would support since McCain didn't seem to match their views. That angst has been alleviated by the choice of Palin, and the Christians might as well be break dancing in the streets for how ga ga I have seen them respond to the Palin nomination.

Again, this was calculated. Now Christians who previously were talking of not voting, or even worse voting for an alternate candidate from the 2 establishment candidates, are coming around to McCain because of Sarah Palin's nomination.

Small Government Conservatives

Lastly, Sarah Palin appeals to conservatives who want a small government and an halt the growth of bureaucracies around the nation. I can't see the staunch Ron Paul types coming on board the McCain Palin bus, simply because while Palin is a step in the right direction she is still a neo-conservative and supports the status quo on issues we see in desperate need of reform (such as US foreign intervention and the federal reserve system).

However, many less conservative conservatives who may have supported lets say a Duncan Hunter, and saw McCain as a lefty in disguise seem to be disarmed by the choice of Palin as VP. Granted, the embracing of McCain was for the most part inevitable by these guys, however, Palin has made it that much more palatable for them to continue to vote Republican this fall.

My Response

My response to all of this is two fold.

1. Firstly, I don't know how anybody can look at the Palin nomination and not see that this is purely a political chess move. Obama just had his queen taken and his king is in check from multiple angles.

2. Secondly there is a tangible that no one seems to be talking about in all of this vice president talk and that is this:

The vice president doesn't do anything.

So all this hope in Palin as a conservative, pro-lifer, correct view of marriage, fiscal responsibility etc (and she is/has all of those things btw) all that hope is misplaced. We need a president that is those things, not merely a VP. Constitutionally, the only thing the VP does is break a tie vote in the Senate, that's it gang.

Bush and Cheney are an exception to this but that is because Cheney is Bush's handler, much like Biden would be Obama's handler. In the case of McCain and Palin, Palin is simply a trophy pick. (as a side note if you didn't know Cheney was in the past day in Georgia and Ukraine vowing US support of these countries and further heightening tensions with Russia).

Palin will not be a major advisor to McCain as president, that's the job of the Council on Foreign Relations cabinet he will choose when he wins. The picking of cabinet members is the most indicative statement of where a presidency's allegiance lies.

Sarah Palin was picked to look pretty, attract evangelicals, disgruntled feminists and conservatives who didn't view McCain as conservative enough so McCain will win the election. That's Palin's job, whether she knows it or not, and she is doing it quite well.


Lisa said...

I've also found it interesting how people have analyzed what his vp pick says about McCain. To me it says that he's a good strategist. I don't think he was trying to decide "who would be the best vp?" I think it was more like "who is most likely to win us the election?"

Anonymous said...


you would be a better prez than a vp cause I know you do a whole lot more for bobby than nothing! :)

Power Up Love said...

the greatest gift...

Tim said...

Of course it was strategic! It's politics after all. It's the same reason Obama chose Biden, though I think that has backfired on him. Persaonlly, had he chosen Bayh or Kane, that would have sealed my vote for Obama. Instead, i'm just as undecided as before.

While you say that VPs don't do much, I think they do more than people realize, which is why Biden was the "smart" choice for Obama, and people are harping on Palin's "inexperience".

but to think it isn't anything but strategy is missing the point of the whole political process - which just proves how terrible it really is.

Tim said...

isn't this so much fun?

Bob said...


I suppose that is all this election really is good for, just entertainment and laughs. I guess I felt I needed to make clear the strategy behind the Palin pick as many Christian friends seem to really think this is genuine on McCain's part. Now they are in a mode of self delusion trying to convince themselves that McCain is pro life (even though he has voted for embryonic stem cell research), and they even try to rationalize continuing our invasion/aggression/occupation in Iraq.

My main point is that the Palin pick doesn't fix any of that, it just well to use the tired pun puts lipstick on the same old ugly neo-conservativism.

Tim said...

Honestly, I don't know what either Obama's or McCain's real strategy was in picking their running mates. Neither really are consistent with their "message" from the primaries.

Right-wing Christians would have voted for McCain almost no matter who he chose because they sure as hell weren't going to vote for Obama. (Leibermann might have been the exception, though I was pulling for that partnership.) Moderate Christians, like me, are now the swing voters. But I am still having trouble deciphering through the talk of both candidates, and I don't know enough about Palin to make a political decision. I'm seriously undecided about either two major candidates, Bob Barr, and staying home.

I have a long overdue "pro-life manifesto" blog post coming soon. I'm sick and tired of pro-life being limited to abortions and stem cells. It is so much more. It includes war, capital punishment, cancer and other medical research, and even the life of mothers. So in a lot of ways, neither major party has a pro-life platform.

In my opinion, the support of the stem-cell bill for use of embryos that were already scheduled for disposal is not against a pro-life agenda. It's a line in the sand that will keep the US way behind in medical research if continue to be restricted. Move to just creating embryos for research, then that would be a problem. But using embryos that will be destroyed for the possibility of saving lives sounds responsible.

Bob said...

I hear ya Tim, I like Jesse Ventura's proposal of a "None of the Above" option on the ballots. I mean for goodness sake the majority of the people don't even vote and I think it in part comes down to not having any real options. As for Bob Barr I almost dislike him more than the establishment candidates. I am a libertarian/constitutionalist so I like Chuck Baldwin, I also (in light of the economy) have appreciated Ralph Nadar's insight, either of those men in my mind are far more fit to govern than the options given to us.

I frankly am repulsed every time I see cars with Jesus stickers alongside a McCain 2008 sticker, I am just grieved over how the church has almost no prophetic voice in the political arena.

As for embryonic stem cell support, I find McCain's talk very contradictory with his actions. At the Rick Warren questionaire he stated that life begins "at conception". Well to have embryos you have a concieved human, yet McCain supports stem cell research.

As for us "falling behind in science" that is the constant fallacy used by scientists to justify every unconscienable practice such as mixing human and animal genes, cloning, and even the manufacturing of deadly virus'. So that is a rather poor justification for a practice that science has already rendered unnecessary.

(They already can "devolve" for lack of a better term adult stem cells to act just like embryonic ones, thus they can reverse say a stem cell taken from a placenta, "devolve" it and implant it in nervous tissue and it will grow into nerve cells).

All that said, there is no need to continue down this road, I know the propagandists say otherwise, but it's just false.

I look forward to reading your pro-life manifesto, you are right it is bigger than the unborn issues, and you are right neither party is pro-life. I maen come on a million dead Iraqis?! For what? And even more important where is the outcry from the church?