A personal Palin rant

by tamarjacobson

Any president deserves a vice president who will be a sound adviser and trustworthy supporter. But the American people also deserve and need a vice president who understands and respects the balance of power — and the limits of his or her own power. That is fundamental to our democracy.

So far, Ms. Palin has it exactly, frighteningly wrong. (Editorial, October 4, 2008)

How’s that for perspective? The credit markets are frozen. Our top general in Afghanistan is dialing 911. Americans are losing jobs by the scores of thousands. And Sarah Palin is making sure we know that the chant is “drill, baby, drill!” not “drill, drill, drill.” (Bob Herbert, October 4, 2008)

This entire election season has been a long-running saga about the rise of women in American politics. On Thursday, it all went sour. The people boosting Palin’s triumph were not celebrating because she demonstrated that she is qualified to be president if something ever happened to John McCain. They were cheering her success in covering up her lack of knowledge about the things she would have to deal with if she wound up running the country. (Gail Collins, October 4 2008)

So much is written and said after the debate. Much laughter and anxiety at what we heard and did not hear. And, yes indeed, I have to admit Palin's performance insulted my intelligence: 

Say it ain’t so, Joe! There you go pointing backwards again … Now, doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I’m glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right?”

But ever since Thursday night something else has been niggling at me, prodding at my early childhood sensibilities and knowledge about how young children develop. Finally, I realized this morning that what I am feeling is rage, and as I prowled around from room to room wondering what to do with this feeling I remembered, "Ah! I can blog about it!" 

For all I can see is Sarah Palin at the end of the debate standing on stage holding her baby and aggressively patting the infant's back as she talked to people around her. What on earth was that poor young child doing up there on the stage at that time of night, surrounded by noise and lights, all confusing and frightening? Is Governor Palin showing what a wonderful mother she is? How she puts family first? That she can do two things at once? After bashing away at the baby's back as if calming and loving, she passed the infant off to her young daughter to hold, and then strode out to greet the audience. 

Palin might waste the public's time by garbling all that gibberish into the camera for 90 minutes at a time. She might even sound so much like George Bush nucu-learing her way through the evening that I could scream. 

But, nothing is as awful as the selfish exploitation of her youngest child for her political ambitions. Maybe she is a champion for Right to Life. However, young children have the right to a quality of life, and I cannot imagine what Trig Palin's earliest emotional memories will be.