Bride of the GOP

Senator John McCain has named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in his bid to be President of the United States. There is part of me that wants to commend McCain and the GOP for their forward thinking in placing the 44 year-old former Miss Alaska on the ticket; but it is the same part of me that is curious about snuff films and thinks about going vegan. In other words, it is the part of me that I seldom pay attention to.

Instead of commending McCain and the Republicans, I find myself feeling contemptuous amusement at the selection of Palin. If there were a more transparent decision to be made in the GOP’s attempt to look progressive and “thinking outside the box,” I would like to know what it is. This is a feeble attempt by the Republicans to say, “Look, we’re capable of doing things differently…see…we’ve got a vice president with tits.”

I imagine McCain and his advisors in their planning room, staring at two different bulletin boards. One of those boards was labled “the guys” and on it were pictures of white men—all the possible candidates for vice president that everyone in the GOP wanted. Romeny was on there, as was Pawlenty and even Huckabee. These were all the ideal running mates for McCain, except that right now, with the way this country is, the GOP was sure they couldn’t get away with two of the exact same model in office. That’s where the other board came in.

The other board was labeled “others” and had pictures of all the non-white men and women—and Lieberman (because he’s a Jew)—that were being considered for vice president; but only because the GOP needed to do something that didn’t appear like their usual bullshit. For months they knew that either Obama or Clinton was going to get the nomination, and they knew that the days of two white men running for president and vice president were over.

There weren’t many pictures on the “others” board, but those that were there were arranged in preferential order. Colin Powell’s picture was on there, of course, but there was no way the GOP would let McCain ask him to run, ‘cause for the most part he’s a traitor. At night, McCain would cry himself to sleep, because he knew that Powell was his ticket to the White House, but the rest of the party felt betrayed by Powell, who is still pissed off about the Iraq War, and has been secretly consulting with Obama. Condoleezza Rice’s picture was on there, with a nicely typed letter on official stationary that read, “Don’t even think about asking me. I’m voting for Obama.” The picture of Lieberman had a hand-scribbled note from Karl Rove that read, “Under no circumstances pick the Jew.” There were about five or six others, but none of them seemed viable. And then someone pointed out the cover of Vogue magazine, with a picture of Sarah Palin. The truth is that her picture wasn’t even on the board—the magazine was just laying around the office. But on the cover of Vogue was the answer to McCain’s problems: Palin was hot, and the GOP figured some people would vote for her just because they wanted to throw a hump into her.

Sarah Palin enters the national political arena as a relative unknown. But a cursory glance at her career in politics shows that she is pro-life, opposes gay marriage, is all in favor of drilling for oil in areas even President Bush says should be off limits, and doesn’t give a shit if polar bears become extinct (and again, even Bush is trying to protect the polar bears). She is also currently under investigation for firing the Alaskan public safety commissioner because he would not fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin’s sister.

Okay, so while on paper Palin may look better than other Republicans, especially the aging John McCain, I really don’t know how much different she is from the Arizona senator. In fact, the first thing I thought when reading about Palin was the classic 1967 film from Hammer Pictures, Frankenstein Created Woman.

Not as well known as some of the other films from Hammer, Frankenstein Created Woman starred Peter Cushing in one of his many performances as Baron Frankenstein. This time around, Frankenstein has the dead body of beautiful young woman on his hands, which he manages to bring back to life when he places the vengeful soul of another person into her nubile form. Next thing you know, the lovely Christina (Susan Denberg) is off on a murderous rampage.

Now, I’m not saying that Sarah Palin is as completely evil as the voluptuous monster in Frankenstein Created Woman, I’m just saying that’s what I first thought of when I began to read up on her and her career. The reality is that I suspect Palin is probably less like the monster in Frankenstein Created Woman, and more like the monster in Bride of Frankenstein—especially when she’s rolled out next to the walking corpse that is John McCain.

I know some of you are reading this, and thinking that this is some sort of joke, but I’m being serious. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Palin is a MILF, or that she has a kid who is mentally retarded. Palin’s politics show her to be a Republican—only presented in a package that looks better than what most of us think of as a Republican. But that’s what she is, little more than the bride of the monster, wheeled out from the GOP laboratory when the Republicans became concerned that they needed to try a new version of the same old product.

During his acceptance speech as the Democratic Convention, Barack Obama accused John McCain of “not getting it.” McCain’s business-as-usual politics, and his standing by many of Bush’s policies that have led this nation down the toilet serve as proof of how out of touch he is. His selection of Palin as a running mate is further proof that he doesn’t get it. McCain and the rest of the GOP think that the popularity of Obama and Clinton was based simply on them not being white men, which is what Palin is—the Republican’s idea of a candidate that is not a white man. She was chosen because someone in the GOP thought she was “different” enough to be the second in command. And not to sound sexist, but I want to meet the GOP genius who looked at Palin, a mother of five—the youngest of which is only five months old with Down syndrome—and thought, “Here’s someone we can feel comfortable with leading the country should anything happen to McCain.”

What McCain and other Republicans fail to realize is that Obama’s popularity has less to do with his not being a white man, and more to do with him talking to people in a way that they are not used to. Obama presents politics that—even if they turn out to be bullshit—don’t sound like the same old bullshit. Part of the problem Hillary Clinton faced was that even though she isn’t a man, she was playing the game too much like the white men who came before her.

It is too soon to tell just yet, but I strongly suspect that Palin is pretty much the standard Republican candidate, who will tow the party line as expected. She will turn out to be nothing new—just the same old flavor of Coke, only in a shiny new can.

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