Bring It On!

Collateral Damage: Palin Hits Family With Friendly Fire

September 2nd, 2008 | by Omnipotent Poobah |

Palin/McCain Family Values

Okay, I took my cheap shots at Sarah Palin yesterday. In some ways I’m almost embarrassed by how easy it was, but I like the taste of fresh-shot fish from the barrel slathered in some Matanuska Valley lemon-butter. Now it’s time to come back to Earth.

The Internets are atwitter about McPalin and a lot of what’s passing for legitimate punditry is nasty, rude, brutish, and short - also known as politics as usual. But cheap or not, the McCainiacs brought it upon themselves by choosing such a tempting target. Then they invited more scorn by offering up the lamest defenses of their decision. Great Caesar’s ghost, the woman’s own mother-in-law doesn’t think she’s up to the job!

Some of the biggest guffaws come from the McExperinentials choosing a candidate who’s the best example of inexperience since Daddy Doc Bush chose Dan “The Potatoe Man” Quayle. C*nty McCain thinks Palin’s foreign policy experience is top notch since Alaska is right next to Russia. Does this offer some insight into McCrankypants’s choice as SecState? After all, governors from several states share borders with Canada or Mexico.

Others defend Palin’s military experience running the 4000-member Alaska National Guard, although Republican mouthpieces couldn’t offer an example of what that entails. Of course, it’s a big job when put into perspective. Alaska’s entire National Guard is smaller than the population of most military bases and military decisions are made by the Guard’s top General, not by the Governor.

Not Flat BustedIf You’ve Seen One Celebrity…
Her stints as Miss Wasilla, TV anchor, and racy picture-poser place her dangerously close to celebrity status too. A status that Republican Oracles of FairnessTM will surely point out she shares with Obama. Yeah, right.

Her dysfunctional family life looks more like Dallas Goes to Anchorage than the squeaky-clean families of the religious right whose collective ass McCrapstain jostles to smooch. But on this count I feel some compassion.

Palin’s daughter is shouldering a lot of invective because Weird Old Uncle John was stupid enough to choose her Mom as Miss Vice President 2008. She’s a pregnant 17-year old who’s most likely scared and saddled with an apparent tool of a boyfriend. That’s a lot to ask of the kid.

An Imperfect World
The terrorist fist-bumping McCainiacs think Palin’s family should be off-limits - a request every political family (including the Obamas and Clintons) usually make. And in a perfect world, that should be true. But in a perfect world, candidates wouldn’t speechify about family values while mothering the antithesis of the same.

Sorry, but as unseemly as it sounds families are part of a candidate’s package. Their decisions about family are often the only unadulterated glimpses voters have of their decision-making abilities. It’s pretty damn disingenuous to want your family to get a pass when every candidate’s family since the Washingtons had to face similar scrutiny. It’s doubly disingenuous to carp about it after you’ve subjected your opponent to the same types of barbs.

As Republicans often remind us, family values start at home. If a candidate decides to run fully understanding that their family will become collateral damage, they should own the decision. Remember Harry Truman threatening to beat the crap out of a reporter for a bad review of his daughter’s piano recital?

Now that’s a family man.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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  1. 4 Responses to “Collateral Damage: Palin Hits Family With Friendly Fire”

  2. By Cranky Liberal on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply


    Oh and if anyone on the Right thinks we should give her family pass, may I please point out the way Michelle Obama has been treated? How dispecable the coverage of her has been? How slanted by fox? How racist (baby mamma anyone?) Maybe the Right should have thought about that before you spent a summer slandering an intelligent, articulate, beautiful woman. Fuck them. Bring it On!. If you cann’t handle the heat from the campaign, don’t run. Hillary sure as hell held up. She’s got Bill in her family - how much harder could it be?

  3. By Lisa on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    Cindy McCain looks much better than Michelle Obama. At least she has good taste in clothes.
    And at least she smiles .

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    It’s pretty damn disingenuous to want your family to get a pass when every candidate’s family since the Washingtons had to face similar scrutiny.

    Yeh, like Chelsea Clinton and the two Obama girls. Boy have THEY come in for blistering examination…oh, wait…no. I’m sorry. I must be thinking of someone else’s children.

    And, Cranky, Michelle is not just the wife of Obama. She actively campaigns with and for him. She’s out there giving speeches and being a spokesman. It is in that capacity that her statements are fair game. I’m not justifying slander, obviously, (by the way, what slander was that?) but if, in the process of campaigning for her husband she says that for the first time in her adult life, Obama doing well in his presidential campaign was the first time she’d been proud of America, fuck it. She made it open season on attacking that statement. More than that, Barack made it open season on attacking her statements when Barack put Michelle front and center in his campaign. The more involved the spouse is in campaigning, the more thoroughly the spouse SHOULD be examined.

    Children are not footballs and Palin’s children, like Obama’s children and the Clintons’ children should not be fodder. That’s my opinion. Obama’s opinion, too, apparently.

    Now I do remember Billy Carter getting some less than flattering attention, what with his beer and all but, hey, Billy was an adult and seemed to eat it up even as he drank it down.

    But when were JFK’s kids ever subject to unflattering media attention? As grown ups, long after John was dead, sure but they were adults then. When did the families of Johnson ever get bad press. I mean, I guess I might have missed it, I can’t claim to have been all that interested in politics at the time but I just don’t remember it.

    In point of fact, I’m beginning to think that this whole “every candidate’s family since the Washingtons had to face similar scrutiny” line might be a load of crap.

  5. By Omnipotent Poobah on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    I can’t go along on this one. I don’t like that kids get drawn into it, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life. I’d prefer no mud be thrown, but I’m not naieve enough to think that’ll happen. Like I said, I have sympathy for the kid, but not much for Mom and that’s the point. Mom’s parenting decisions are legitimately under question and it’s a little hard to do that without exposing the kid. She should’ve thought of that before accepting.

    As for family scrutiny, you’re right about Billy. But don’t forget questions about George and Martha Washington’s relationships, Jefferson’s relationships with his slaves, the Bush twin’s public behavior, and Eisenhower’s relations with his assistant - to name only a few.

    If there was something about the Obama girls to be have, you can bet it would be out there. Chelsea has gotten some tough questions and McCain made jokes about how ugly she was, which to my mind is a cheaper shot than the Palin embroglio (although I did think it was funny).

    Politics is, and has always been, a vicious business and anyone jumping in better damn well be aware that the families will be exposed to withering scrutiny, like it or not. Anyone who embarks on a political career and can’t prepare their family properly should have thier decision-making questioned because they’re clearly holding their self-interest abouve their family’s.

    And that makes them a poor candidate from my way of thinking.

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