Monday, September 01, 2008

Sarah Palin as Lightning Rod

Since I've already started on the upcoming US presidential elections, I might as well touch on McCain's choice of the hitherto-unknown Sarah Palin as running mate. From what I've seen thus far, I can summarize in one word: inspired. So utterly, utterly inspired.

It's not simply what Palin brings to the table for the conservative Republicans, its also what she accomplishes for the liberal Democrats.

Palin attracts the conservatives because of her fierce anti-abortion stand and (as I can gather from the news) her reform-minded independence. For those already on her side of the fence, her story as "hockey mom", gun advocate, and parent to a child with Down's Syndrome makes her even more compelling.

And for the liberals? Let's face it, why should the Republicans have to pander to their choices? It's not like any other candidate for vice president is going to make them change their minds, especially for those on the extreme.

For the liberal crowd, Palin is the perfect lightning rod. Being a virtual unknown, they have practically nothing to throw at her except for ad hominem attacks: "go-go boots", "beehive hair", "too pretty", "gun-loving", "trample on pro-abortion rights". Not that the Republican campaign is pulling any punches in their dirty ads department vis-a-vis Barack Obama; however, the liberal reaction against Palin thus far feels very much like a hissy fit.

Ultimately, the liberals make themselves look bad.

Palin a woman? Courting the spurned Hillary voters, no doubt, but hey, all's fair in love and war, right? Again, it's hard for a liberal to attack the gender without seeming hypocritical.

And let's face it, Palin does look a bit like Geena Davis. Will life imitate art?

Anyway, that's a view from a non-voter.