Koch: Time to get over Palin-shock

I will not be the first or the last to say that the choice of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential candidate offends me.

Before Palin’s appointment, rather than dreading a choice for the lesser of two evils, I was excited about hearing the ideas of two candidates who seemed to truly care about this country. I was never going to vote for John McCain, but I hoped that once he finished kowtowing to the far right he would once again become the John McCain who seemed to think for himself. The John McCain who once said that a repeal of Roe v. Wade would force women into dangerous and illegal operations.

But when McCain announced that he had chosen Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his running mate, I was truly disappointed.

Actually, disappointment came later. First, I was confused. When I first heard the announcement, I thought: Who the hell is Sarah Palin? I turned to Drudge, Politico and People magazine to answer my query. The results were unnerving.

I quickly learned that she is pro-life and supports teaching creationism alongside evolution in schools; she was mayor of a town whose population seems to fluctuate wildly with every report I read, and governor of Alaska since her swearing-in Dec. 4, 2006 — giving her just under two years of “executive experience.” I only learned about her policy after trudging through endless articles about her newborn son Trig, who has Down syndrome, her 17-year-old daughter Bristol, who is five months pregnant, and several YouTube videos of seven-year-old daughter Piper licking her hand and then smoothing down her baby brother’s hair. I also read several angry quotes from McCain’s camp asking the media to stop questioning Palin’s background.

Governor Palin’s background and policy (or lack thereof; when asked what she thought about the Iraq war in 2007, she answered, “I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq”) is only part of what offends me about the Palin pick. I’m more troubled by the hypocrisy of the Republican Party, which, at this point, is verging on laughable. And if you’d like to laugh about it, Jon Stewart has a funny segment in which he juxtaposes news clips from Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly that showcases the obvious self-contradiction.

But I’m not really in a laughing mood.

John McCain exposed his cynicism by choosing Sarah Palin. He chose someone who may have been a good governor for Alaska, but is not qualified for a position that puts her a heartbeat away from the presidency.

This will be my first time voting. I’m excited that I get to cast my ballot in such an important election. But I’m also nervous.

The Republicans have been re-energized by the Palin choice. And Democrats are stuck shaking their heads in wonder as the polls show McCain pulling even. My advice to Democrats (myself included): Stop being appalled by Palin and do something. Now! The Democratic Party should be re-energized as well by such a blatantly hypocritical move by the opposition.

We are long past fighting against McCain and his yet-to-be named running mate. We need to start asking the hard questions of both McCain and Palin, listen to their answers and come back swinging.

Comments

  • Vlad

    Yesterday's Chicago Tribune showed a different perspective voiced by the current Democratic governor of Illinois:

    (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-blagojevich-palin,0,7868198,print.story)

    Title: "Democratic Illinois governor defends Palin's experience"
    By Associated Press
    Date: September 11, 2008

    CHICAGO - "Gov. Rod Blagojevich backs Illinois' Barack Obama, but he said Thursday that it is a mistake for fellow Democrats to discount GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's experience as Alaska governor.

    The executive job of governor is like the presidency because the officeholder has to make decisions, Blagojevich said. Lawmakers do different things like "debate and … pass their bills back and forth," he said.

    "But governors make decisions and I think it's a tactical mistake for the Democrats to question Gov. Palin's experience when she's been a governor of a state," Blagojevich said on WGN-AM's "Spike O'Dell Show."

  • Bias?

    C'mon. Palin is more qualified than Hollywood Obama. You just can't stand her opinions. Fess up.

  • Dre

    It is interesting that you [Bea Koch] quote The Daily Show and then mention “hypocrisy”.

    For it is on The Daily Show that Joe Biden said that John McCain would make a good president and would be good for the U.S.. The url that shows Biden saying this is at http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=125441&title=Joe-Biden-Pt,-2

    In addition, at the Democratic Primary Debate of August 2007, moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Biden about Obama’s readiness for the presidency (the url is at http://abcnews.go.com/politics/decision2008/story?id=3498294):

    “STEPHANOPOULOS: You were asked: Is he [Obama] ready? You said, ‘I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.’

    BIDEN: I think I stand by the statement.”

    The Chicago Tribune printed a story yesterday (September 11, 2008) about the current Democratic governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich:

    "Gov. Rod Blagojevich backs Illinois' Barack Obama, but he said Thursday that it is a mistake for fellow Democrats to discount GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's experience as Alaska governor.

    The executive job of governor is like the presidency because the officeholder has to make decisions, Blagojevich said. Lawmakers do different things like 'debate and … pass their bills back and forth,' he said.

    'But governors make decisions and I think it's a tactical mistake for the Democrats to question Gov. Palin's experience when she's been a governor of a state,' Blagojevich said on WGN-AM's 'Spike O'Dell Show.' "

  • SY11

    This is a superfluous article. It adds absolutely nothing to the conversation on Palin, except that for two sentences the columnist argues democrats should get over themselves, BUT she then does not elaborate at all on what democrats can and should do now that Palin has changed the race. The public does not need another 800 words on why some person thought Palin was an odd and/or horrible choice.