What Palin is Good For

I’m baffled by the media’s continued obsession with Sarah Palin. It might be the same reason that we turn the pages in a book when a new controversial character is introduced. She piqued our interest with her out-of-nowhere rise to fame, and then started blathering like a “category 5 moron” according to Bill Maher. It could be that some find her beautiful (I am not one of them) and because she’s fairly young, unlike the usual cadavers that make up the Republican party.

As a character, she makes an interesting addition to the story. As an actual human being, I wish she would disappear.

Of course it makes me think about the kinds of characters I can introduce in my own writing that would inject page-turning interest mid-stream. I was thinking of having the main character’s father in my new novel morph into some kind of creature toward the middle of the story, and then I nixed that idea. I think I’m going to go back a couple of chapters and try that out and see how it works out. It might take the story in a new direction and add additional tension and interest. It might work.

I guess Palin is useful after all.

Divided We Fall


Michelle Bachmann on Hardball

Michelle Bachmann on Hardball

With all this unpleasantness about who’s anti-American and where the Pro-American parts of the country are, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate my buddy Heather.

Heather’s conservative, one of a few of my friends who regularly vote Republican. Here’s one of the many things I appreciate about her. As long as I’ve known her, she has always been able to have earnest political discussions without them turning into screaming matches, competitions, or either of us resorting to name-calling.

Gov. Palin

Gov. Palin

We both realize that people have different opinions about how to get to where we want to go, but that we all want to move forward in a way that is best for everyone. It’s respectful disagreement. The Palin and Bachmann comments are so disrespectful; it’s troubling that either is in a position to influence others.



Finally, God (yes, I’m invoking the Lord) gave us two legs: a left and a right. We move forward by using both. Otherwise, we’d just be spinning in circles. I don’t know when everyone is going to realize that to move forward, we need to listen to and honor both sides. It’s like an equation. Life, politics, all of it requires balance. I believe Colin Powell when he said that the Republican Party was moving too far to the right. And likewise, I believe it is possible to move too far to the left.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Does anyone remember that? Keith Olberman has a good take on it.

Why did the Conservatives Cross the Road?

Ret. Gen. Colin Powell
Ret. Gen. Colin Powell

I think it’s funny that people assume that African-Americans are voting Obama only because he’s black. Let’s consider the candidacy of another black man, Al Sharpton. He’s tried to run for mayor of NYC to no avail. Know why? He didn’t have the support of many people, regardless of their race. If people only supported candidates of their own race, Sharpton should have had at least a fighting chance among his own. However, the African-American community, like every other voting American, votes for candidates because they are QUALIFIED.

So yes, the fact that Barack Obama is a black man so close to being a resident of the White House is historic. But to say that is the only reason someone votes for a candidate is seeing an entire race of people as one-dimentional, and… here’s a newsflash… it’s racist.
So many conservatives have supported Powell over the years for all his myriad accomplishments. Now that he’s supporting the Democratic candidate, all of those accomplishments are pushed aside for the “obvious” reason he is crossing party lines: race. Powell was very clear in his reasons for supporting Obama. He mentioned that the race factor was historic, but didn’t list it among his reasons. Why is it so difficult to believe that race wasn’t one of his reasons? He’s certainly not the only conservative crossing party lines. Christopher Buckley, a writer in his father’s conservative newspaper, the National Review, recently lost his job because he openly supported Obama. Kathleen Parker, another conservative took a grilling for suggesting that Palin politely step down from her wanna-be-VP post.
Parker takes issue with the right-wing for being so nastily dismissive of dissenting opinions. Powell feels that the Republican party is going in the wrong direction. Buckley felt that he didn’t leave the party, but that it left him. Conservatives are jumping ship, and everytime they do, people like Rush Limbaugh come up with a reason they’re doing it. They say, Powell’s doing it because he’s black, Buckley was doing it as a stunt to promote his book, etc. But the real reason is: these particular conservatives just can’t support the right anymore. Why? The Right is DEAD WRONG and more and more conservatives are crossing the aisle to get to the other side because they finally realize the LEFT is RIGHT.

Barbie for V.P.

I recently wrote a book called OVERCOMING PREJUDICE for Chelsea House Publishers. It will be released in spring 2009. I devoted one of the chapters to prejudice against women, starting from women binding their feet in China for the sake of beauty, to the suffrage movements in the U.K. and the U.S.A., to the inequity in pay that women still face.

This political season, Hilary Clinton was going to do something unprecedented by becoming the Democratic nominee for President, and possibly the first woman president of the United States. She was following in the footsteps of other female leaders… Indira Ghandi in India, Sirimavo Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka, Golda Meir in Israel and Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. But Clinton lost the nomination. Then on Friday, John McCain, the Republican nominee announced that his running mate would be a woman. Sarah Palin. Someone no one had ever heard of, and someone so new to politics, that a few weeks ago, she couldn’t even say what the job of Vice President was.

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin

Clinton was a qualified candidate, despite what people’s feelings may have been about her. By contrast, Palin is unknown, underqualified, and a clear attempt by one party to gain voter support from Clinton’s drop-off. Palin even invoked Clinton in her speech, as if she was picking up from where the former first lady had left off.

I am incredibly offended. I do not make political choices based on a candidate’s anatomy, nor do I know any woman who would (thankfully). It’s like a beer commercial with a busty, skimpily-clad woman serving the drinks. She’s just there to use her appeal as a woman, nothing more. I don’t know if Ms. Palin is aware that she is being used, or if she genuinely believes that she is qualified for the job. If she is aware that this is a cheap trick, and is willing to trick herself out for the entire Republican party, then that’s someone I couldn’t vote for morally. If she genuinely believes that she was chosen based on her abilities, then she is too stupid for my vote. So which is it?

I certainly hope that young women in this country are able to see through this grand-scale sexism and demand better for themselves. Palin has just single-handedly put the women’s movement back 100 years. It’s the equivalent of McCain choosing Jim Crow as his Veep and I am beyond disgusted.