Monday, September 01, 2008

A Lesson for Myself...and you too maybe

Last night when I went to bed, I had the feeling that Sarah Palin would become McCain's Harriet Miers. The allegations that Palin's youngest son, the four month old, was really her grandson--it all seemed familiar to me and I couldn't figure out why. Oh yeah, Desperate Housewives: didn't Bree banish her pregnant daughter to a home for unwed mothers, fake her own pregnancy and then palm her grandson off as her son. This is exactly the case that was being made about Sarah Palin. But Desperate Housewives, that's a comedy, isn't it? A satire in which Bree plays the most extreme of feminized women, the Stepford Wife. Was it really possible that the GOP didn't know that, that they were using the TV program's plot line as a model case? Then when I got up this morning, the story had changed. Now Palin's daughter, the one who rumor had it was the actual mother of the baby, was presented to the world as, yes, pregnant, five months alone, which seems to preclude any thought of the four month old being hers.

Whatever. My point isn't the state of Sarah Palin's uterus or her daughter's because, really, it's all a non-issue for me as far as considering Palin a viable candidate for Vice President. She's not, as far as I'm concerned, for reasons that have nothing to do with her children or her children's children. The story is significant to me, however, not for what it may say about Palin, but that it reveals the assumptions that I, that so many of us are ready to make about the Republicans: they will say or do anything to get what they want, so suspect everything.

Here's the lesson: I--we--must try to separate the candidate from the Party. The latter sucks; the former is human. The Party (either one, the Democrats are no angels either) is like some huge demonic being, and it swallows good people, chewing them up and regurgitating them in some new form, recognizable perhaps, but no longer human. That's what they've done to McCain; they've processed him like some soy-based sausage so that he is palatable to the Party. In so doing, though, he is lost to those of us who hoped he truly could be the maverick reaching across the aisles to create change. He withstood the Viet Cong and the Hanoi Hilton; the Republican Party, unfortunately, did him in.

It makes me sad to see McCain on TV now, because I like him. I do. And I think he is honest and well-intentioned and on his own, he might not have been that bad for America. On his own--without undue influence from the Party--I might have been able to trust him to do what was right for the country, rather than what was expedient to the GOP. But he's not on his own, is he, and therefore a good man is lost to us. I feel sad that Sarah Palin is taking the flack for the Party's choice. I'm sure she too is honest and well-intentioned, but she's a pawn now in the Republican playbook, and we all know that pawns never win the game.

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So--whaddaya think?