Sunday, September 14, 2008


I usually steer well clear of politics on this blog, not being a citizen I am not allowed to vote. But I am a permanent resident here, and I pay my taxes, so I think that qualifies me to have an opinion. And, truth be told, I find it hard to keep my mouth shut about the latest debacle that is sweeping the nation, namely, Sarah Palin. I ask you, what is so special about this woman that it’s causing voters to regard John McCain with new eyes? After watching Charles Gibson’s interview with her last week I confess I’m totally mystified.

Palin managed to confuse, obfuscate, and generally waffle her way around every question she was asked. Questions about her experience in foreign policy were answered with her stance on energy issues, the proximity of Alaska to Russia, or the fact that she had met international trade delegates in her role as governor. She didn’t even appear to understand the question when Gibson asked her what she thought of the Bush doctrine.

Also, she seemed to think there was one rule for the USA and quite another for Russia, or any other country for that matter. She thought it was acceptable for American troops to cross borders into Pakistan (without authority from that government) in their quest to root out terrorists. She said, "In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target."

Yet it was totally unacceptable for to Russia cross borders into neighboring Georgia. She said, "And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. What about the US invasion of Iraq? They may not have been a democratic country, but there are other non-democratic countries in the world that we aren’t invading. My question is, what was the provocation in Iraq? And who decided that Russia wasn’t provoked?

The only question she answered directly was on the issue of abortion. Gibson asked her, "John McCain would allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. Do you believe in it only in the case where the life of the mother is in danger?"

Palin replied, "My personal opinion is that abortion allowed if the life of the mother is endangered. Please understand me on this. I do understand McCain's position on this. I do understand others who are very passionate about this issue who have a differing." (Any errors here are not mine but are in the ABC transcript of the interview).

Honestly, I was gobsmacked with this reply. This woman would set women’s rights back years, nay decades. And to say that women who have been raped, or been the victims of incest ― and in most cases of incest we are talking about very young girls ― should not be allowed an abortion is appalling.

If Palin is so worried about the high abortion rate in this country shouldn’t she be advocating free birth control for women, rather than taking this Draconian stance on abortion. But we all know that's not going to happen, considering John McCain voted against measures that would have mandated health insurance companies to cover birth control.

The prospect of four years with McCain at the helm fills me with horror, but what's even more scary is John McCain is no spring chicken, and this woman could end up running the country. Now, that really is something you should give some thought to before casting your vote.

If you missed the interview you’ll find it here:

But better still, read the transcript, it’s much easier to cut through the waffle, sorry, rhetoric:


Lakeland Jo said...

She certainly seems to have stirred up some strong feelings over there. We haven't seen much of her over here other than we she was announced as JM running mate (I hope I got that term right!)
We are battling over here with our own bizarre political issues. One of the opposition party leaders here ( Lib Dems) has described our current government ( labour) as zombies! Not very encouraging!

pamokc said...

What she has done is energized all the super ultra-conservative Republicans who can't stand McCain. It is sure gonna be interesting to watch what happens! I just hate that the country is so divided 50/50 now --

And yes, you pay taxes and are definitely entitled to an opinion. Are you going for citizenship any time? That was my husband's real reason for doing it -- if you are paying taxes, might as well vote.

Denise said...

Interesting points you've made there Janet. I am not a citizen either but have started the process. I am trying to learn as much as I can about either side by reading everything I can about the candidates and where they stand on various issues. Unfortunately I won't be able to vote this time.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I agree with every word you wrote Jan, but then I think us Brit's are just seeing this from a different perspective.

Plus I feel as strobngly as you do on the abortion stance, WHAT are they thinking!!

Janet said...

Jo, politics is the same the world over. On party political commercials here, the candidates just use the air time to slag each other off.

Pam, I guess you're right, but maybe Republicans should remember that it's still gonna be McCain who's Prez. (shudder) And I suppose we'll look into citizenship some time.

Denise, it's good that you are finding out things about the candidates for yourself. You can't rely on the main stream media to bring you unbiased coverage.

Sarah, thanks. I think you're right, I think we Brits are naturally cynical about politics, and have an innate suspicion of politicians.