Saturday, May 29, 2010

Playing the Sex Card Since 1996

We normally disdain those who "play the race card" to get where they want. President Obama had to walk a very fine line but managed to avoid eliciting a sympathy vote because the color of his skin was out of the mainstream of previous candidates for the presidency.

But what about "playing the sex card?"

I propose that Sarah Palin has made liberal use of this card, very liberal use, especially when compared to other female political figures in recent history. To test this statement, I'll ask you to link up a public figure with the following statements:

She's a MILF!
I'd do her.
I think she is a tremendously sexy woman.

Let's see... are all these three referring to Hillary Clinton? How about Dianne Feinstein? Angela Merkel? Maybe Olympia Snowe. No? Margaret Thatcher? Geraldine Ferraro? Sorry, all wrong.

Women in politics have had to overcome barriers that their male counterparts never encountered. There are two ways to succeed in this male-dominated arena: Be more intelligent, more engaged and more thoughtful, or, be more coy and more sexy and focus on men's smaller heads. (Sorry, guys... not all of you.)

Sarah (Mrs. Todd) Palin has been playing the sex card for a long time. She was not all that attractive but with a little plastic surgery here and a few hair extensions there and plenty of Redbulls in between, she can prance onstage in an immodestly short skirt and sparkly high heels and rev up several "small heads" in whatever audience she addresses. Do not underestimate her charm when it comes to well-meaning but basically cowed males wishing for a female dominant to shackle, spank and teach them!

These days, if a guy in politics says anything against Mrs. Palin, that guy is labeled "misogynistic," a guy who hates women. Yet, she consistently presses forth the fact she is a woman. She consistently presses forth the fact that she has children. She consistently presses forth the notion that her children are being sexually abused. Which of those other woman politicians named above ever mentioned their children as any excuse for griping or bashing? None that I can see.

She consistently proffers Todd to go do the dirty work. Look, if a writer took up residence next door to me, I would go talk to him myself, I wouldn't send my alter-ego husband to do it. What does that say for her ability to handle anything?

Sarah Palin hides behind her husband and her children regularly. I know of NO other female politician who crumbles at the slightest affront. I also know of NO other female politician who has a cult following. (See if you doubt me.)

There is something very, very wrong with this woman and the press she seems to get, even though she has NEVER opened herself to real questions from a real reporter since the Katie Couric mishap back before the 2008 election.

I am a woman. Thanks to the civil rights fight to give me a vote I can express my druthers in local, state and national elections. Thanks to a general acceptance of women in the field of technology, I manage to earn a living. Thanks to Sarah Palin, I and my sisters are in danger of being set back a century. I will raise my voice wherever I can and fight with whatever I have to make sure that backsliding never happens.

What other politician wanna-be ever.. EVER... had this: 'This Is Not Sarah Palin Inflatable Love Doll' Released By Topco Sales???

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Constitution and Mrs. Palin - Part 3

The First Amendment - Establishment Clause

Amendment I of the Constitution begins, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." This says to me that no single religious dogma trumps any other in our country.  Yet Mrs. Palin has been going around the country espousing and promoting the notion that the United States is a Christian country, founded on the Judeo-Christian belief set.

In an appearance on Fox channel with Bill O'Reilly (VIDEO), while discussing a court's recent finding that it is unconstitutional for the Federal government to declare a "National Day of Prayer," Mrs. Palin affirms, "I have said all along that America is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and, uh you know, nobody has to believe me though, uh, you can just go to our Founding Fathers’ early documents and see how they crafted a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that um allows that Judeo-Christian belief to be the foundation of our laws and our Constitution, of course, uh, essentially acknowledging that our unalienable rights don’t come from man. They come from God."

The term "Judeo-Christian" first came into use during the Second World War. It was not part of the settlers' or the founders' vocabulary when the Declaration of Independence was written. Basically, Judeo-Christian necessarily refers to the tiny intersection of beliefs held in common by adherents of Christianity and those of Judaism.  In an article titled The Judeo-Christian Oxymoron, author David E. Ross notes wisely, "Actually, an appeal to Judeo-Christian values usually reflects an attempt to generate Jewish support for a political agenda that many Jews who are well educated in their religion would reject."

Further in Mrs. Palin's session with O'Reilly, she goes on to say, "I think we should just kinda keep this clean, keep it simple. Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that um we would uh create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments. It's pretty simple."

If our founders truly desired that laws reflect the ten commandments, why did they not legislate against carving statues of anything in the heavens, on the earth or under the seas? Why is there no punishment when people take God's name in vain? Where is the law that says you can't go to movies or mow lawns on Sunday? And oh dear, of course, why did the founders fail to demand that husbands or wives who cheat on each other be stoned to death?

To which God, and to whose bible does Mrs. Palin refer?  The vengeful Old Testament God who forbids us to eat shellfish and despises homosexual behavior, or the New Testament God that claims Jesus as his Son, the same Christ who is every Mark Souder's refuge when he gets caught committing adultery?  But wouldn't either of these be a God firmly identified with a particular religion?

President John Adams, our 4th President, signed the Treaty of Tripoli that was passed unanimously in 1797: "The United States government is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."

John F. Kennedy, a Catholic (like Mrs. Palin was before switching to Pentecostalism) and our 35th President said, "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute."

Thomas Paine, founding father, wrote, "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

If our country truly was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, I find it odd that Article 6, Section 3 of our Constitution says, "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

James Madison, another founding father, said, "Religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

And Thomas Jefferson, rascally founding father that he was, said, "Question with boldness even the existence of a God."  No wonder Texas wants to remove him from their history textbooks.
I wonder what Mrs. Palin and friends would say if our Congress ordained a "National Week of the Hajj," or a "National Day of Tantric Sex," or a "National Month of Meditation and Silence."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Constitution and Mrs. Palin - Part 2

The First Amendment - Freedom of Speech

Mrs. Palin has a curious take on the free speech part of the First Amendment of the Constitution.  Here she is, recorded by WMAL, an AM station in Washington, DC: "If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

When she railed against her running-mate's opponent during the 2008 race, her attacks were vitriolic and incessant.  She maintained that Barack Obama could not be "one of us" because he got his start in the living room of a domestic terrorist, and continued to "pal around with" Bill Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground when candidate Obama was not yet a teenager. As a result of her rhetoric, Palin rally attendees called for Barack Obama to be killed. In a twisted interpretation of the First Amendment, Mrs. Palin insisted that she not only had a right to say what she did, riling up redneck crowds at every campaign stop, but that the media had no right to call her on it.

 Let's take a look at that part of the First Amendment. "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." Nowhere in this amendment does it say that a person who speaks freely shall be protected from the press reporting on what was said.  Yet Mrs. Palin appears to regard commentary by the press as an infringement on her right to free speech.

At the same time, she seems not to recognize the hypocrisy of her personal view because through her attorney, Mrs. Palin threatened to sue Alaskan blogger Shannyn Moore for reporting the existence of rumors about a pending investigation of her potentially corrupt dealings.

So, let's get this straight.  If Mrs. Palin says wild and incendiary things on the campaign trail, her right to free speech should protect her from the media talking about what she said.  But if someone else mentions an extant rumor that names Mrs. Palin, that person deserves to be sued for daring to repeat what others have been saying.

I'd say that Mrs. Palin's understanding of this part of the First Amendment is wanting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Constitution and Mrs. Palin - Part 1

On the Role of Vice President

On one hand we have Mrs. Palin mocking President Obama, saying (VIDEO), "we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor..." But when energizing Teaparty crowds she points to the Constitution as the yellow brick road to perfect freedom and prosperity: "...that the Constitution provides the path to a more perfect union — it’s the Constitution."

The pols that Mrs. Palin endorses often refer to the Constitution in their cry for smaller government. From Rand Paul's site we read, "The Federal Government must return to its constitutionally enumerated powers and restore our inalienable rights." The Teaparty platform recently adopted by Maine's GOP repeatedly mentions the Constitution. Hypocritically, the document demands that "legislation must adhere to the restrictions ... in the Constititution to protect the individual from intrusive government," while at the same time insisting on anti-choice and anti-gay marriage "family values."

Mrs. Palin and her supporters talk a lot about the Constitution, but has Mrs. Palin ever really read it, studied it, understood it? Back before she was chosen as John McCain's running mate she was quizzed about being a potential VP pick.

As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?

She continued, "I'm used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we're trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question."

Here is a 44-year-old Governor of one of our 50 states, who seems clueless about the executive branch of the Federal government and wants someone else to look it up for her! She clearly sounds concerned that the role may not be important enough, anyway. Well, Mrs. Palin, according to the Constitution, the Vice President is a backup in the event the President is removed, dies, resigns, or is unable to discharge the duties of the office. The Vice President also has an honorary role as President of the Senate, and is allowed a vote only in the case of a tie. That's pretty much it.

After accepting McCain's invitation to join him on the 2008 campaign trail, Mrs. Palin began to imagine the role of Vice President as something larger and more grand than what the Constitution calls for. In an interview with KUSA, a Denver NBC affiliate, she told a youthful caller that, "A vice president … also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it's a great job and I look forward to having that job."

During the single 2008 Vice Presidential debate with Joe Biden, Mrs. Palin continued her quest to expand the role for which she was campaigning. In response to a question from Gwen Ifill about knowing what a VP does every day, Mrs. Palin responded, "Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are." It boggles the mind, truly it does.

After the debate, Carl Cameron of Fox News questioned Mrs. Palin on her comments regarding what the Vice President does, to which she responded, "The vice president, of course, is not a member, or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate. That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it."

There is no tremendous flexibility and authority given to the Vice President by the Constitution. Was Mrs. Palin channeling former VP Dick Cheney who clearly broke the mold of Vice Presidents throughout history? I can only assume that Mrs. Palin envisioned herself as an inside agitator, proddin' them Senators to vote for rill Amerikuns and expandin' drillin' and preventin' women from choosin', also, too. But did she get her interpretation from the Constitution? I think not.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh Sarah!

Found this gem via a link that Neal Paisley posted in a comment on one of HuffPo's daily side show stories about ... yup, Mrs. Palin. Don't neglect to read the lyrics that Neal (one of the band members) added right on the YouTube page for this music video, also, too!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kittehs in da House!

We welcomed two little precious kittens to our family just yesterday—here's a clip of the cuties:

It took a while to find what we were after—siblings, one girl and one boy, around 8 to 10 weeks old. Finally found a wonderful woman who does animal rescue work that had just what we were after. Makes me smile all over.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sage Blossoms May 2010

May has to be my most favorite month, other than possibly October when the first chill turns the leaves into a stunning panorama of oranges, reds and yellows.  In the foreground here is a sage plant from last year, blossoming for all its worth in one of the porch rail herb boxes.  In the background are this year's raised beds.  The broccoli looks ready to take off.  We've been picking red leaf and butter lettuce leaves for several days now and the radishes are almost ready to harvest.  Come on spring onions!

Green has to be my most favorite color, except if I'm wearing it... :)  Lavender is a close second, but that early spring yellow is so smile-inducing!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blogging and Me

I recently told a friend about my blog and after he had a look, he was like, "It would be nice if you wrote about something other than Sarah Palin all the time."

There are definitely other things in my life that are more important than Mrs. (failed VP candidate and former half-term Alaskan Governor) Palin. First comes my family, but details about them are strictly personal and I will never expose that part of my life to an Internet audience. Then there's my job, but that's not something I can blog about either, and still keep said job. Let's just say that what happens at work stays at work. Then there are my diversions: one is my long-standing participation in online role-playing games. I could blog about that, but it is a world apart from politics and would seem incongruous here at H&HT to talk about how one of my World of Warcraft characters happened across the Time-Lost Proto Drake and got the high-speed mount item that mob dropped. Equally incongruous would be a warning I'd like to issue about the ripoff that is Evony, or my background in coding for and administering MUDs. That would require a new blog title and a great deal of effort and I hardly have time for this blog as it is!

Another is gardening, and I've been known to insert a few pictures of cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and other produce from the lovely raised beds in my back yard.

But my other main diversion (or call it passion) is politics. Well, not exactly politics, but hypocritical people who are politicians or who are in public view, people who seem to capture attention and imagination and have an apparent impact on our national dialogue. That's what H&HT is devoted to, and that's why Mrs. Palin figures so heavily into the content here. She's not the only one who needs calling out. But she's the one that touches home with me because she is constantly "out there," thanks to someone who wants to keep her in the public eye. She's the one who is the biggest hypocrite of all, based on what I know about her. She's all over TV, the Internet, magazines, radio, and every sort of media out there. Her indiscretions are never-ending. Her lies are incessant. Her chutzpah is without parallel. Her phoniness is without par. And yet she keeps playing the victim while flaunting her ignorance and disparaging anyone who doesn't buy her schtick.

An aspect of Mrs. Palin's story that particularly grates on me is the lie that she "chose life" in order to give birth to Trig Palin. Her history as a Mayor of a town of about 6,000 pales in comparison. Nobody even mentions the consolation prize she won after her failed run for Lieutenant Governor, a position on the Oil and Gas Commission. And after she quit as Governor well before finishing even one term, she hangs her hat almost entirely on the fact that she is a mother (so?) and specially, a mother of a child with Down syndrome. In the absence of Trig, she'd still be in Alaska and out of the public eye. In the absence of Trig, she'd never have become McCain's chosen one. In the absence of Trig, even if McCain had picked her anyway, her star would have faded by December 2008.

Instead, you can find stories and videos and transcripts of her trademark "word salad" speech nearly every day in countless media outlets. But the Trig story is a lie, and so far she's gotten away with it. I know it, she knows it, and a good number of other people know it too. Mrs. Palin is giving women everywhere a bad name. That's what bugs me and as a woman, that is why I will point out her hypocrisies on H&HT as long as she keeps providing the ammunition. She is, as far as I'm concerned, the biggest hypocrite on the public scene today and therefore, a worthy target of most of my blog posts.