Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Who? Let the Games begin

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States of America selected his running mate this morning. Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska and staunch conservative will run as the Vice President of the Republican party.

I'm a little worried by the commentary, especially from the right, the jubilation and glee that the Republican campaign has met Obama's historical achievement as the first African American candidate for President with the first female Republican female Vice Presidential candidate. So? Yes, it is a remarkable and historical achievement on both sides, but anyone who votes for any candidate because they are black or female or Hispanic or Jewish or whatever fill-in-the-blank demographic is just wrong and hasn't put any thought into their important choice of who will be this country's next leader. Governor Palin is not a substitute for Hillary. If women, in particular, who supposedly supported Hillary, throw their support to the Republican ticket, I wonder if they ever supported Hillary's policies in the first place.

Sarah Palin, as Vice President would be one heartbeat away from the Presidency. A VP with no foreign policy experience, none at all, should raise questions to those who support this Republican ticket. Her premiere on the national stage was this morning as she was introduced by John McCain. As the Governor of Alaska, she has executive experience that would be a valuable asset in the White House, but is 2 years experience enough? Many pundits have questioned Obama's supposed lack of foreign policy experience and I wonder how they will defend Palin's obvious lack of experience in international issues. How will they match her 2 years experience with the 30 years Joe Biden brings to the party?

Sarah Palin is not "just like" me or many of you. By all accounts is a strong woman and I admire that. Unfortunately, for me and many others, she is strong supporter of issues that I do not agree with and that I would never support. I've never gotten up at 3 a.m. to hunt for moose, or any other living animal for that matter. She is anti-abortion, supports capital punishment and is a lifetime member of the NRA. She supported the 1998 constitutional amendment against gay marriage. She is a strong advocate of everything that I am not.

Married to her high school sweetheart, today is her 20th wedding anniversary. Mother of 5, self-described "hockey mom", got her first political experience in the PTA (and anyone who thinks the PTA isn't political has never been to a PTA meeting), on to a city council position and ultimately the Governor of Alaska. She reportedly has a 90% favorable rating from her constituents but how does the Alaskan experience translate to the national stage? Her compelling biography is a great human interest story, but does it make for a good Vice President of the United States?

We have two VP candidates with son's who are heading to Iraq. Joe Biden's son, Beau is a JAG officer who has already spent one tour in Iraq. Palin's son Tyler will be shipping out on September 11 as an infantryman. Hopefully the argument about who has more skin in the Iraq/ military game will be equalized by both of these young men's honorable service to our country. As Obama said in his acceptance speech in Denver, we all love our country, so let's stop arguing about who is more patriotic. We know both candidates support their son's service and the troops, and we know Joe Biden no longer supports the war in Iraq, but what are Governor Palin's thoughts on this? Is she in the 100 year camp with her running mate?

It's too early to know enough about this new Republican team, and we'll see what comes out of this. What are Palin's stands on human rights issues, minimum wage, healthcare,foreign policy and other important national issues? At this time I don't see anything to make me or other progressives support this ticket that would continue 4 more years of the same bad policies that the Bush administration brought to this country.

I don't hate Sarah Palin and I do not hate John McCain, I think they are wrong for America.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

There are alot of issues, but none more important than this- we must hold Washington accountable. If groups from the right and left can find a common ground, we Strange Bedfellows may be onto something.

Become a StrangeBedfellow!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Up Yours, Bush!

The Bush administration will not go quietly. The latest "eff-you" to women in America is the attempt to redefine certain methods of contraception as abortion.

The San Jose Mercury News posted an editorial earlier this week that pretty much sizes it all up.

President Bush has spent his eight years in office fighting a social war against American women's right to choose. Now he is orchestrating one last campaign to try to curb abortion. This is one surge that must be defeated.

The Bush administration knows it can't win this fight in Congress. So its latest effort is a draft proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services that purports to clarify workers' rights to refuse to provide abortions.

The new rules define abortion as "any of the various procedures - including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action - that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."

It doesn't take a medical expert to know that definition includes birth control pills, IUDs and "Plan B" emergency contraception. Sen. Hillary Clinton said that if birth control is defined as abortion, it would permit individuals and health-care corporations to refuse to provide family planning.

The new regulations could also invalidate California's and a dozen other states' laws that ensure women's access to safe, affordable contraceptives.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have joined in the fight to get Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to reject the draft proposal. They should make clear to President Bush that his final effort to block women's right to choose is destined to fail.

With 171 days left in this administration, it is obvious we can't take our eyes off the ball. Apparently his legacy as worst president ever isn't as well established as he thinks it should be and there is still more damage to be done.