Last night, as I was watching ABC’s Charlie Gibson interview Gov. Sarah Palin and restraining myself from throwing anything too heavy at my T.V., I wondered just how dumb, exactly, the McCain campaign thinks the American people are.
Are we supposed to be fooled by Sarah Palin’s smile and average soccer (excuse me, hockey) mom voice into believing that a McCain-Palin administration would actually respect the Constitution, despite the fact that one of the major reasons she was named his running mate was the fact that her positions on key issues make her a darling of the Religious Right, a group whose support McCain desperately needs to win?
(Just to be clear, the Obama campaign isn’t completely off the hook on this one, either – that “Committed Christian” flier made my blood boil, too.)
Should we ignore that she never actually answered Gibson’s question about whether or not she’s experienced enough for the job, or will feel comfortable as a player on the national stage?
Are we really supposed to not be outraged that in defending a political statement she made – in a church – in which she strongly suggested, intentionally or not, that she believes the war in Iraq is a holy war? And then not throw up our hands in complete disgust when she defended herself by comparing her not-so-eloquent, off-the-cuff words to Abraham Lincoln’s, one of the most thoughtful, meticulous orators in American history?
Regardless of what she intended with her comment about the troops (or the one about the construction of a natural gas pipeline across Alaska being God’s will), she made a political statement in a house of worship, to a group of graduating ministry students. Highly unethical behavior, at best, for an elected official who is supposed to not only keep religion and government separate in her own politics, but defend that separation for every citizen she represents.
Add in the fact that she apparently thinks her work in government is immaterial without religion, and I’m all but pulling my hair out at the thought of Palin remaining an elected official of any kind, let alone tackling the vice presidency. Take her statement that “I can do my job…but really all of that stuff doesn’t do any good if the people of Alaska’s heart isn’t right with God,” for example. Poor grammar aside, the implication that a state’s population “being right with God” is essential to its political institutions functioning properly is blasphemy against the Constitution. That’s not something I want anyone thinking while working in any part of the White House. (Too late, I know. But let’s try for a little 20/20 hindsight here, and not make that mistake again.)
While I’m here, I may as well cover all the bases in the ballgame of the Sarah Palin media circus: no, I am not sexist. I do not disdain my fellow women or think having a family means a woman should stay home. I think being a successful working mother is something to be proud of, and I hope I can do it myself in the future. And just for the record: I’m a liberal, as well as a woman, and I can hit eight out of ten clay birds with a .410. Nine out of ten with a .20 or a .28. Sarah Palin is not the only woman who knows her way around a gun, and the Republican Party does not have a monopoly on target shooting. I can only wish they’d stop talking about it as though it has anything to do with being a politician. Kind of like being Christian, or believing in a Judeo-Christian God.
From a feminist who loves her country and her religious freedom: Please, let’s show every candidate for public office that America is neither dumb nor asleep, and that we won’t accept any compromises to our First Amendment just so they can get the backing of the Religious Right.