"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just Say No to Palin, McCain

It has been weeks and the message is clear, Sarah Palin is unfit to be Vice President of the United States. Not because she can't do the job of VP. It is because she isn't fit to be President. The job of the VP is to be ready to become President if the need sadly arises. She must be judged on that standard and its clear many are not. Instead we get fed lies and exaggerations about her qualifications and it seems people are eating it.

Personally I find the choice insulting and the means to sell her insulting. And so should you. John McCain claims its "America First" and yet he makes the ultimate choice in pandering by making a choice that has nothing to do with ability and everything to do with getting the base to accept him and maybe peal off Clinton supporters along the way. He does this and then says to your face he isn't. If that was the case would her foreign policy experience be based on proximity to Russia? Or would the title of "Commander-in-Chief" of the Alaskan National Guard needed to be tossed around.

A housewife from Wasilla lays out exactly why Sarah Palin is a joke to be the second most powerful person in the land. If anyone knows how incompetent Palin is, I think a resident would know. The problem fundamentally comes down to demonstrated lack of ability to do any job well and allowing personal issues to interfere with the running of government.

Let us look at her "executive experience". That experience is mayor for six years of Wasilla, at the time only 5000 residents strong. Some high schools have more students then the town does. Its funny how that number rarely comes out. Apparently 5k was too much for her though because party leaders had to force her to hire a city administrator when she proved unable to handle the work load. What was she doing instead? Apparently she worked on getting city hall remodeled and re-docorating her office several times. As Governor, she leads a state population of 650,000. By comparison the city of Atlanta has 519,415. Suddenly jumping to leading 300 million is within her skill experience? I think not.

Wait, she is fiscally responsible! Yeah not so much. It turns out she didn't even do that right. When she became mayor of Wasilla, she inherited $0 debt. When she left office, the city was $22 million in debt. For about 6000 residents by then. Where did that money go? To infrastructure improvements? To a library? A sewage treatment plant the city didn't have? Nope, $1 million for a park, $15 million for a sports complex that remains a money pit for the town in part because of millions spent on litigation when Palin didn't verify the city had a title to the land the complex was built on. As governor, she advocated taking oil surplus profits and giving it back to residents. Sounds good on paper. Except again the state needed infrastructure work for road projects and the like. Her solution? Borrow the money. So you have a surplus that wouldn't require putting the state in debt but to score points for re-election she chose the fiscal irresponsible choice of more debt. Maybe her fiscal responsible rumor comes from that fact that under her administration the city use to charge woman for their own rape kits. Yep, victims had to pay for the tests that proved they where raped (I wish I was lying). At least until the Alaska governor outlawed it.

But, but she is for smaller government and lower taxes! Nope not even there. As mayor she increased government expenses by 33% and increased taxes by 38%. She did cut property taxes, to the happiness of corporate property owners but to make up that shortfall she increased a regressive sales tax which taxed purchases including food. The next result is corporations paid less, residents paid more.

She took on corruption! Sorta. If by taking it on, you mean quitting a job she didn't like do to the pay, commute, structured hours (oh noes!) and work load, and using corruption as an excuse, then sure. If you mean taking action, say via laws, firing people, closing loopholes and other "executive" action. Then no. Calling a press conference and citing corruption as a reason for quitting a job isn't fighting the system to me.

She took on big oil! Where? I tried to find evidence of this but really haven't seen anything that led to meaningful chances in how the oil companies do business. Just chances in how they do business with her. Once is a boom to her the other is a boom to others.

She is anti-pork! Nope not even a little bit. That bridge to nowhere project...she was for it before she was against it. She was only against it after public outcry had already killed the project. However, $442 million was provided to the state which she chose to keep rather then return. Of that $25 million was spent on a road that goes to an empty beach. So not only morally ambiguous, pro port, but remains fiscally irresponsible. She actually is so pro-pork she hired lobbying group Robertson, Monagle and Estaugh to get hold of earmarks totaling $27 million in one year. Her attempt to prove her anti-pork stance is...essentially a press conference. She used a line-item veto to kill "pork" projects that turned out to be rather important. Enough so that public outcry and legislative action restored most of the projects.

She has other things going for her! What? NRA member? So. Hockey mom? So. PTA mom? Way back when for her first born but not since. She is pro-life but has yet to take any legislative action to support it. Publicly she is against under all circumstances, no exceptions. For abstinence only education despite having a daughter that proves why people are against such limited education of sex.

Let's summarize. Pro-small government? No grew Wasilla government. Pro-tax relief? No, just shifted the burden from corporations to residents. Fiscally responsible? Nope, left a city of 5k $22 million in debt prefers to borrow money to rebuild infrastructure rather then use oil profits. Transparent? Nope, she surrounds herself only with loyal members and reveals little (including her pregnancy until the 8th month). Political maverick? A press conference does not a maverick make.

How does this relate back to McCain? The real question you should ask yourself is how comfortable are you with the idea of President Sarah Palin. McCain is a military man. As such he knows all about contingency plans. The VP position is the ultimate contingency plan to make sure governance continues if the worse happens. He has chosen to ignore this plan and put America at risk. In essence the choice of Palin is a big FU to America, instead of putting "America First", he made the choice that is really is "McCain First." Considering the multiple crisis this country is facing, I don't think we need someone of such narrow and self centered thinking in charge.

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