Monday, September 1, 2008

The GOP's Own Thomas Eagleton

Sarah Palin is Thomas Eagleton in 2008.

No, I don't think she's received shock therapy. But you know what I'm talking about. A party trying to court evangelicals (the social, moral conservatives) brings in a VP candidate whose seventeen year-old daughter turns out to be pregnant.

To be clear: it's Sarah Palin who decided to enter the public eye by seeking elected office, not her daughter. That said, Sarah Palin "is a strong proponent of teaching abstinence-only sex education to teenagers" (quoting ABC), so this hypocrisy reflects strongly, and negatively, on Sarah Palin. This is an almost poetic example of why religion should not be the basis for policy decisions, whether you're talking about using the government to force the Bible on kids in science class (like Sarah Palin wants to) or teaching
abstinence-only sex-ed (which might be her religion, but it doesn't work).

This is also yet another sign of what I can now openly call John McCain's snafu magnet. First the Straight Talk Express hits a van (humorous link, but real event). Then, he changes his mind about offshore drilling in time to collect money from long-standing special interests, only to be kept away from his photo op on an oil rig by an oil spill. And finally, Hurricane Gustav nearly cancels the GOP convention and reminds everybody of the Katrina fiasco. A now this. Of course as an atheist I don't see any significance in these coincidences, but you believers out there should draw the obvious conclusion that Someone is trying to tell you something.

My favorite part is how the McCain camp says that they knew Palin's daughter was pregnant. Sure they knew. You know, there are no other qualified evangelical-wooing and/or candidates without pregnant teenaged daughters, right? But what is McCain going to say? "I had no idea, and she snowed me." No, he has to look informed, rather than like a man who's having choices made for him by the religious right wing of the GOP that's ruined the party these last 8 years. The question is whether McCain will take advantage of his ignored convention to switch candidates, like McGovern in '72. Of course, even if he picks Pawlenty or Ridge at this point I don't know that I could trust his future cabinet picks.

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